WASHINGTON — More Democratic voters believe Congress should begin impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump’s conduct while in office, but the country at large remains divided on the matter, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Overall, 27 percent of Americans say there’s enough evidence to begin impeachment hearings now — up 10 points from last month.
Another 24 percent think Congress should continue investigating to see if there’s enough evidence to hold impeachment hearings in the future, which is down eight points.
And 48 percent believe that Congress should not hold impeachment hearings and that Trump should finish out his term as president — unchanged from a month ago.
Almost all the growth in support for impeachment has come from Democrats, with 48 percent of them wanting impeachment hearings now, versus 30 percent who said this a month ago.
Just 6 percent of Republicans support beginning impeachment hearings now, while a whopping 86 percent say Trump should finish his term as president.
Among independents, 22 percent support impeachment hearings now; 34 percent want to continue investigating; and 44 percent oppose impeachment hearings.
The NBC/WSJ poll comes after former special counsel Robert Mueller addressed the nation in late May (stating that if he had had confidence that the president did not commit a crime when it came to obstruction of justice “we would have said so”), as well as after the Trump administration has defied Democratic subpoenas for further testimony on the Russia investigation.
Trump has continued to maintain that he didn’t commit obstruction of justice in Mueller’s Russia probe.
Trump’s approval rating: 44 percent
The NBC/WSJ survey also found that 44 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance — down from 46 percent last month, although the change is well within the poll’s margin of error.
Fifty-three percent of Americans say they disapprove of Trump’s job.
Trump’s highest approval numbers come from Republicans (84 percent), those ages 50 to 64 (58 percent), men (53 percent) and whites (50 percent).
His lowest ratings come from independents (37 percent), women (36 percent), Latinos (32 percent), African Americans (17 percent) and Democrats (11 percent).
Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential election, a combined 37 percent of registered voters say they’re enthusiastic or comfortable about voting for Trump, while 52 percent say they’re “very uncomfortable.”
That’s compared with 40 percent who are enthusiastic or comfortable about voting for Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, the former vice president, plus 31 percent who are “very uncomfortable.”
For Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 34 percent are enthusiastic or comfortable, while 33 percent are “very uncomfortable.”
For Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the numbers are 33 percent enthusiastic/comfortable and 41 percent very uncomfortable.
Warren rises with Democrats
Meanwhile, Warren’s support among Democratic primary voters has grown in the last three months, according to the NBC/WSJ poll.
A combined 64 percent of them say they’re enthusiastic/comfortable about her (up from 57 percent in March), while a combined 27 percent have reservations or are very uncomfortable (down from 33 percent).
Biden’s numbers among Democratic primary voters are 66 percent enthusiastic/comfortable (down from 73 percent in March), versus 32 percent with reservations or who are very uncomfortable (up from 25 percent in March).
And Sanders’ numbers are 56 percent enthusiastic/comfortable (down from 62 percent in March), versus 41 percent with reservations or who are uncomfortable (up from 36 percent in March).
Attitudes on abortion remain consistent
Finally, opinions on the issue of abortion have remained fairly consistent in the last year.
A combined 56 percent of Americans say abortion should either be always legal or legal most of the time — essentially unchanged from March 2018.
That’s compared with 41 percent who think it should be illegal with or without exceptions.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted June 8-11 of 1,000 adults — including more than half by cell phone — and it has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points.
The margin of error for the 825 registered voters in the poll is plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points.
And the margin of error for the 311 Democratic primary voters is plus-or-minus 5.6 percentage points.