By Tom Schaller
In the two weeks since the Ukraine story broke, national polls reveal notable increases in public support for impeachment, or at least an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump and top officials in his administration.
On Twitter, Trump fumed about a new Fox News poll that shows a slight majority of the American public, 51 percent, now supports impeaching him. “Whoever their Pollster (sic) is, they suck,” Trump tweeted. Given the recent, Ukraine-related developments, Nate Silver’s 538.com launched an “impeachment tracker” site that shows support nationally for impeachment at 49 percent–similar to and within the polling margin of error of Fox’s results.
To date, Latinos have not been exclusively polled to assess their attitudes about impeaching the president or the possibility of conducting a formal impeachment inquiry. However, in a Univision poll conducted last June by Latino Decisions and North Star, we asked Latinos if the position of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on impeachment influenced their potential support.
Q: “Please indicate if you would be more likely, or less likely to support a candidate running for President based on the following policy issues: Supports the impeachment of President Trump.”
Overall, about two-thirds of Latinos said that they were “significantly” (37 percent) or “somewhat” (29 percent) more likely to back a Democratic candidate who supports impeachment. Within demographic subgroups, there were a few interesting differences:
- By 69 percent to 50 percent, registered Latinos are much more likely to significantly/somewhat support a pro-impeachment Democratic nominee than are unregistered Latinos.
- The gender split was identical, with Latinas (69 percent) significantly/somewhat more likely to support such a candidate than were Latino men (50 percent).
- Although self-identified Latino Democrats were of course more supportive (45 percent significantly, 30 percent somewhat) than Republicans, a remarkable 40 percent of Latino Republicans (26 percent significantly, 14 percent somewhat) supported an impeachment-favoring Democratic presidential aspirant.
- Fully 59 percent of Latinos who have voted for a Republican candidate at some point in the past either significantly (30 percent) or somewhat (29 percent) supported impeachment.
Obviously, because the poll was taken in the months immediately following the release of the Mueller Report the results above exclude the effects of the recent Ukraine developments. Because most of the national polls taken in the past two weeks do not have sizeable Latino sub-samples, however, if and how much Latino attitudes on impeachment have moved in response to the Ukraine story remains unknown. Given the trends nationally in the public at large, however, Latino Decisions expects Latino support for impeachment is higher today than it was in June.
Thomas F. Schaller, PhD, is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he teaches courses in American government.