A Democratic-aligned group commissioned a rare poll across the 18 Republican-held districts won in 2020 by President Joe Biden about a potential House impeachment inquiry, seeking to fine-tune a strategy to impose maximum political pain on GOP lawmakers if they go down that path.
The poll, conducted by the liberal firm Public Policy Polling on behalf of Congressional Integrity Project and first reported by NBC News, will be distributed to Democratic lawmakers as a playbook for how to battle an inquiry that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called a “natural step forward.”
Congressional Integrity Project’s executive director, Kyle Herrig, said impeachment would be “a political stunt designed to hurt President Biden and help Donald Trump.” He added: “We’re going to make sure the Biden 18 know that voting for an impeachment inquiry would be a costly political decision.”
The survey is likely to be met with skepticism from Republicans due to the Democratic affiliation of the pollster. It is, however, consistent with the anxieties of numerous GOP lawmakers in the Biden-won districts who say they haven’t seen enough evidence to begin an impeachment inquiry and would rather focus on governing.
McCarthy and Republican leaders say an inquiry would simply be an attempt to seize on larger investigative powers to gather more facts before the party decides whether to move forward with an impeachment vote.
“It looks like he took bribes — and if he did, and the evidence shows that, he should be impeached. It’s that simple,” said Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio.
The results showed two-thirds of respondents in those key GOP-held battleground districts said Republicans shouldn’t impeach Biden without “evidence” that he “received any bribes or changed government policies in relation to the activities of his son, Hunter Biden.” That includes an even greater share of independents, the firm said. Meanwhile, only one quarter of respondents said they should proceed either way.
When given two options, more than half of those surveyed said impeachment would be more of a “political stunt,” while just over four in 10 said it was a “serious effort to investigate important problems.” Majorities of respondents also said it was more about “damaging President Biden politically” than “finding the truth,” when presented with those two options.
Notably, the PPP poll found that Biden is not particularly popular in those key 18 districts.
In a memo, PPP pollster Katherine Patterson highlighted those findings and emphasized the reluctance of voters to favor an impeachment inquiry “without evidence” of wrongdoing by Biden.
The Democratic poll spoke by phone and text message to a sample of 633 voters, from Aug. 25-26, pulled from all of the 18 Biden-won districts represented by Republicans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.