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Politics Iowa voters split on impeachment in latest Iowa Poll; nearly half don't want Trump removed from office

05:15  12 january  2020
05:15  12 january  2020 Source:   desmoinesregister.com

Pelosi and McConnell Begin 2020 in Standoff Over Trump Impeachment Trial

  Pelosi and McConnell Begin 2020 in Standoff Over Trump Impeachment Trial House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a stare-down over the terms of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which carries political risks for both sides if it continues deeper into January. © Photographer: SAUL LOEB/AFP This combination of pictures created on December 23, 2019 shows Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 19, 2019 and US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a media availability on November 7,2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC.

© Copyright 2020, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.

Iowa voters are split on the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to impeach President Donald Trump, but nearly half say the president should not be removed from office.

Forty-five percent of registered Iowa voters disapprove of the House decision to impeach the president, while 43% approve of it and 12% aren't sure, according to the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

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In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox.

When asked if Trump should be removed from office, 48% of Iowa voters say he should not, and 40% say he should, with 13% not sure, according to the poll.

The poll also asked whether it's OK for a U.S. presidential candidate to try to gain political advantage over an election rival by seeking help from foreign countries. The question did not name President Trump as someone accused of that. Iowa voters overwhelmingly (72%) say such action is not OK.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: President Donald Trump waves before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House en route to Toledo. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)© Alex Brandon, AP President Donald Trump waves before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House en route to Toledo. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The poll of 3,131 registered voters in Iowa was conducted Jan. 2-8 by Selzer & Co. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.

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Partisan House vote, party split in polling response

In December, the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is charged with pressuring the president of Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. The articles of impeachment say Trump used the official powers of his office for his own political gain and obstructed Congress by directing government agencies to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony when lawmakers tried to investigate.

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The House vote fell almost entirely on party lines, with nearly all Democrats voting in favor of the articles and every Republican opposed.

Registered Republicans and Democrats in the poll also mostly fell along party lines in their views on the House’s actions. Ninety percent of Republicans disapprove of the impeachment vote, while 87% of Democrats approve. Independents are split on the House vote: 48% disapprove, while 39% approve.

The party split was similar when registered Iowa voters were asked if Trump should be removed from office. Ninety-one percent of Republicans say Trump should not be removed from office, while 83% of Democrats say he should be. Just over half of independents, 51%, say Trump should not be removed from office, while 34% say he should be.

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Paul Holzworth, a poll respondent who's a Republican and voted for Trump in 2016, said he disapproves of Democrats’ move to impeach Trump. Holzworth called the investigations a “waste of time and money.”

“I haven't seen any solid evidence that he has done an impeachable act,” said Holzworth, 87, a physician from Johnston.

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Holzworth said he plans to “definitely” vote to reelect him.

“He told you exactly what he was going to do, and so far, he’s done it,” Holzworth said of Trump.

Justin High, a poll respondent who's a Democrat and plans to caucus for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, said he approves of the House’s decision to impeach Trump and thinks the president should be removed from office. But, he added, “honestly, there’s no chance” of that happening in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Still, High, a 30-year-old sales representative from Des Moines, said he thinks the House’s impeachment vote is valuable even if Trump remains in office.

“I think that it represents a stance that … nobody is above the law,” he said.

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Wide majority say it's not OK to seek political advantage through foreign help

By a 7-1 margin, respondents say it’s not OK for a U.S. presidential candidate to try to gain political advantage over an election rival by seeking help from foreign countries. Seventy-two percent say such behavior is not OK, while 10% say it is OK and 17% aren't sure.

That view is held by majorities of every demographic breakdown, including 59% of Republicans and 56% of those who say they voted for President Trump in 2016.

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"If the question is the action, it’s settled, but that is not the question, apparently," said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co.

High, the Des Moines Democrat, said foreign interference in U.S. elections is something the country’s founders were concerned about.

“When we were a nation first being set up, that’s what we were trying to get away from,” he said. “We were trying to get away from foreign governments ... dictating how we live our lives and influencing those things.”

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  • Pete Buttigieg's support in Iowa dips as he rejoins cluster of candidates below Iowa Poll front-runner
  • Joe Biden’s support remains steady in latest Iowa Poll less than one month before caucus night
  • A guide to Democrats running for president and what likely Iowa caucus participants think of them
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Richard Davis, a 58-year-old poll respondent and veteran service officer from Iowa City, said he believes it’s wrong to seek foreign help in an election, but, he said, “maybe President Trump is right” about there being something worth investigating about Biden. (There is no evidence to suggest that Biden acted improperly as vice president regarding Ukraine.)

“But he did it the wrong way. President Trump did it the wrong way,” said Davis, an independent who said he voted third-party in 2016.

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  White House confident Bolton won't testify at Senate impeachment trial White House officials are confident that President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton will not appear as a witness during a Senate impeachment trial. Bolton threatened to upend Republicans’ careful strategy for a speedy trial on Monday when he announced that he was willing to testify if subpoenaed. He is one of a number of witnesses with direct knowledge of Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that Democrats believe could prove crucial in understanding the arc of events that led to impeachment.

Davis said he approves of the House’s decision to impeach Trump but doesn’t believe Trump should be removed from office. He likened the impeachment vote to receiving a warning for inappropriate conduct at work.

“I don’t believe it was a fireable offense,” he said.

Robin Pfotenhauer, 54, a poll respondent who's a Democrat and a farmer in Durango, disapproves of the vote in the House to impeach Trump because she doesn’t think Trump sought “dirt” on his political rivals in his infamous call with the Ukraine president. The call last summer was at the center of Democrats’ investigations into the president.

“For me, that's the sticky wicket," she said. “He never asked about dirt.”

► More from USA TODAY: What's going on with Trump and Ukraine? And how does it involve Biden and a whistleblower complaint?

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Majority would definitely vote for someone other than Trump or consider it

Asked for whom they would vote if the presidential election was held today, 34% of registered Iowa voters say they would definitely vote to reelect Trump, 12% would consider someone else, 44% would definitely vote for someone else, 2% would not vote and 8% aren't sure.

Pfotenhauer, the Durango Democrat, doesn’t think Trump should be removed from office, but she’s open to considering a different candidate in 2020. Pfotenhauer caucused for Sanders in 2016 but did not vote for president in the 2016 general election. She appreciates what Trump has done for the economy, but she doesn’t like his governing style, especially his tweets.

"I have a political war with myself all the time," Pfotenhauer said about her feelings on Trump. “I kind of feel like I'm on both sides of the aisle.”

Trump continues to enjoy widespread popularity with Republicans in Iowa. Seventy percent of registered Republicans who do not plan to caucus with Democrats on Feb. 3 say they will “definitely vote” to reelect Trump — down from 76% in a poll released in November. There’s been an uptick in the number of Republicans who say they’re “not sure” about their plans to vote for Trump, from 2% in November to 8% in the latest poll.

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  • Register to vote: To caucus on Feb. 3, you must be registered to vote. Register or check your status here.​​​​​​​
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About this poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted Jan. 2-8, 2020, for the Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 3,131 registered voters in Iowa, including 701 who say they will definitely or probably attend the 2020 Democratic caucuses.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups. Interviews were administered in English. Responses for all registered voters were adjusted by age and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active voters in the list.

Questions based on the sample of 701 voters likely to attend the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Questions based on the sample of 3,131 registered voters have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the true population value by more than plus or minus 3.7 or 1.8 percentage points, respectively. Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom is prohibited.

MORE ON THIS POLL:Read our methodology

Stephen Gruber-Miller covers the Iowa Statehouse and politics for the Register. He can be reached by email at sgrubermil@registermedia.com or by phone at 515-284-8169. Follow him on Twitter at @sgrubermiller.

Barbara Rodriguez covers health care and politics for the Register. She can be reached by email at bcrodriguez@registermedia.com or by phone at 515-284-8011. Follow her on Twitter @bcrodriguez.

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This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa voters split on impeachment in latest Iowa Poll; nearly half don't want Trump removed from office

McConnell prepares to move forward on impeachment trial rules without Democrats .
GOP leaders have enough votes to ignore Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demands for witnesses and new evidence.Senate Republican leaders are preparing to move forward on a set of impeachment trial rules without Democratic support.

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