As conservative legislators and commentators continue making the case for launching impeachment hearings against Barack Obama, some have suggested that the effort is merely a partisan witch hunt on the part of a fringe minority.
A recent poll by CNN and ORC International, however, reveals that support for impeachment is widespread and crosses all political barriers. A full third of all respondents stated that they want to see Obama removed from office.
While proponents of such an extreme measure are obviously more popular among Republicans, a group in which 57 percent supports impeachment, a significant percentage of independents and Democrats also favor the proposition. Among those with no party affiliation, 35 percent want Obama removed, while 13 percent responded similarly among those within his own party.
These numbers, the poll suggests, do not come from those merely dissatisfied with Obama’s job performance. About eight in 10 state they feel that impeachment should only be an option in response to the commission of a serious crime while in office.
Nearly half of all respondents believe that Obama has misused his executive powers to enforce his policies. That number is more than twice as high as the 22 percent who think he has not done enough.
Only three in 10 respondents told pollsters that they think Obama has exerted an appropriate level of presidential power during the first six years of his presidency.
This poll was released on the heels of a Fox News survey that found that an even greater number – 36 percent – of Americans want Obama to be impeached. Nevertheless, the Democratic National Committee continues to describe the push for impeachment as political posturing on the part of GOP leaders.
“The American people want the President, and Congress, to tackle important issues,” DNC spokesperson Michael Czin wrote in a response to Politico, “like commonsense immigration reform, equal pay and raising the minimum wage – so while Republicans waste time on political stunts, those are the issues the President and Democrats will continue to fight for.”