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Poll: Floridians feeling strongly about impeachment — for and against

Not much middle ground in impeachment opinions

This early into the Democrats’ impeachment probe, it appears that two lines are being drawn between those Floridians who believe both the inquiry and an actual impeachment of President Donald Trump are necessary, and those who don’t.

And there’s a pretty big gap between those lines.

The latest poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found 48 percent approval in Florida for the U.S. House of Representatives opening its impeachment inquiry, and 47 percent opposed.

In the lab’s new survey, being released Tuesday morning, a similar split 46 percent “yes”, 48 parent “no” was found among Florida’s registered voters on whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

Those divides are harsher than those summary numbers would suggest: Democrats are lining up not just in support, but in the “hell yes” support camp, while Republicans are lining up in the “hell no” bracket.

Sixty-nine percent of Democrats “strongly” support impeachment already, while just 15 percent identify with “somewhat” support impeachment notion. Eighty-four percent of Republicans strongly oppose, and just 5 percent somewhat oppose.

And there aren’t many independent voters in the middle either. The UNF poll found them heavily weighted inside both “strongly” options: 37 percent strongly supporting impeachment, and 32 percent strongly opposing, with the last 31 percent pretty evenly split between the two “somewhat” camps and undecided.

“Floridians are evenly split on impeachment, both on beginning the inquiry and removing Trump from office,”  Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF, stated in a news release. “This similarity speaks to the division within the electorate regarding Trump: either they support removing him from office, or they are opposed to the impeachment inquiry entirely. It’s possible that both Republican Senators will end up sitting in judgement during an impeachment trial. An even split among the public likely would not convince co-partisan senators to break with the president.”

The survey, conducted Oct. 14 through Sunday, was done by live phone calls two 669 registered voters. UNF is citing a margin of error of 3.8 percent for the broader questions.

Among other findings was a job approval rate Trump of 44 percent, with a disapproval rate of 54 percent. The split along party lines there was similar to the impeachment questions, with a landslide of Republicans “strongly” approving, and a landslide of Democrats strongly disapproving.

The survey also found Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump 48 percent to 43 percent right now, and Elizabeth Warren leading Trump 46 percent to 43 percent. Trump leads Kamala Harris 44 percent to 41 percent, and leads Pete Buttigieg 43 percent to 42 percent.

Should Trump not be around to run in November, 2020 election, Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t do as well. He loses by greater margins to Biden (49 to 38) and Warren (46 to 40). UNF didn’t bother testing Pence against either Harris or Buttigieg.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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