Ipsos/538 Impeachment Tracker

New Ipsos and FiveThirtyEight Tracking Study Following American Attitudes on Impeachment

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, December 4, 2019 - In the second wave of the FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos impeachment tracker, released Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019, we find that the public hearings on impeachment do not appear to have shifted American public opinion either towards or away from the impeachable character of President Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine. While there is a small increase in the number of people who believe Trump did, in fact, attempt to coerce Ukraine into investigating his political rival, that shift does not translate to changing attitudes on the inappropriateness of his actions.

A key consideration of why public opinion is not moving on impeachment may be the upcoming elections. A small majority, 51%, say that the 2020 election should decide Trump’s fate while 47% say that Congress should remove him from office. This 47% lines up very closely to the FiveThirtyEight average of public polls on impeachment.

Regarding the Republican defense of Trump, that Ukraine attempted to meddle in the 2016 elections, less than a third of Americans appear to believe this to be the case including only about a quarter of Republicans. Fox News viewers are most likely (44%) to believe that Ukraine interfered in 2016.

Washington, DC, November 19, 2019 - Ipsos and FiveThirtyEight have just launched the first wave of our ground-breaking tracker of public opinion around the Trump impeachment saga. This survey, using the Ipsos KnowledgePanel, will follow the same nationally representative group of Americans for the next three months to track if, when, and how Americans change their minds on the facts underlying the Trump impeachment inquiry.

In our first wave of research, we find that a majority of Americans believe President Trump has committed an impeachable offense (although this study does not ask about removing him from office) and are following the hearings closely. Furthermore, most Americans believe that President Trump did engage in most of the alleged actions (asking for an investigation of Biden, withholding aid, and covering up information). Additionally, majorities believe that if these things occurred, they are inappropriate.

Looking forward this research will revisit the position on these “political facts” to see if the hearings change opinions and if so, in what direction.

Methodology

This 538 Impeachment/Ipsos Poll was conducted November 13th to 18th, 2019 using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally-representative probability-based sample of 2,088 adults age 18 or older.  A general population sample of US adults was selected for this study and, to ensure a sufficient sample size among independents, was supplemented with an oversample of adults who had previously identified as Independents or had no preference for any one political party. The study weights, as described in further detail below, adjusted for this oversample using party identification benchmarks from ABC News so that results reflect the general population of US adults. 

This second wave of the 538 Impeachment/Ipsos Poll was conducted November 27th to December 3rd, 2019 using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. The first wave of this poll was based on a nationally-representative probability-based sample of 2,088 adults age 18 or older and included a general population sample of US adults as well as an oversample of Independents and those with no party preference to ensure a sufficient sample size among them. Wave 2 was fielded to all who completed Wave 1 and had 1,726 completes. The study weights, as described in further detail below,  adjusted for the oversample using party identification benchmarks from ABC News so that results reflect the general population of US adults.  

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established probability-based online panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of delivery points in the US. Households are randomly sampled and all persons in the selected households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Ipsos provides selected households who do not already have internet access with a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methods, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race, education, Census region, metropolitan status, and household income. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 March supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS).  Due to the oversampling of Independents and those with no party preference, the data were also weighted to adjust for party identification. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male/Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White/Non-Hispanic, Black/Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races/Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School graduate, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.25. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

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Link to FiveThirtyEight Impeachment Post

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs

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