Politics & Government

‘Even Democrats are divided’ when it comes to impeaching Trump, SC poll finds

Trump: ‘Can’t impeach somebody doing a great job’

US President Donald Trump reacted to a freshman Democratic congresswoman's diatribe predicting his impeachment while using a vulgarity, by saying "You can't impeach somebody doing a great job."
Up Next
US President Donald Trump reacted to a freshman Democratic congresswoman's diatribe predicting his impeachment while using a vulgarity, by saying "You can't impeach somebody doing a great job."

S.C. Democrats are torn on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, according to a new poll.

The same poll, shared exclusively with The State, also shows Democrats are weighing their options in the 2020 presidential race, even as their leading choices are similar to national polls of Democratic voters.

Of those likely primary voters polled by Columbia-based Crantford Research, 37% said Democrats should “back away from impeachment and focus on defeating Trump in 2020.”

About a quarter, 26 percent, said Congress should “begin the impeachment process quickly,” while the same percentage said Democrats should “go slow” and “wait for other information to emerge from the planned investigation” initiated by various congressional committees.

Only 2% said impeachment should be abandoned due to “lack of evidence against the president.” Another 9% said they were not sure.

“What’s interesting is that even Democrats are divided on what to do,” said pollster Carey Crantford, although Crantford thinks the fact his poll screened for those planning to vote in the 2020 Democratic primary is likely reflected in the results.

“This is the most active set of Democrats you could find,” he said, “and they’re geared into what the political consequences of each option would be.”

Top 3 picks

The poll also asked for voters’ top three choices in the Democratic presidential race ahead of the Feb. 29 primary next year. Sixty-five percent of respondents put former Vice President Joe Biden in the top three — the only 2020 candidate selected by a majority of respondents — and 42% said Biden would be their first choice, a finding in keeping with other polls.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., was the second most common favorite, with 46% naming her in their top three and 10 percent calling her their top choice. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., followed with 30 percent naming her to their top three and 8 percent making Warren their top choice. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had 27 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a top-three candidate for 20% of respondents, but the top choice of 8 percent, the same as Warren. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is in the top three of 23%, but is the top choice of only 4%.

Crantford sees the numbers as a sign Democrats are still weighing their options.

“Biden certainly enjoys ties to the state and connections to the establishment,” Crantford said. “Everyone else is totally new... You’re going to see them shift as candidates like Harris and (former Texas Congressman Beto) O’Rourke try to retool their campaigns (after Biden’s entry to the race).”

Among African-American respondents — who are expected to make up the majority of voters in next year’s primary — 52% named Biden as their top choice, compared to 11 percent for Harris and 5 percent for Booker.

The poll was conducted from May 14 to May 16, and took responses from 381 likely Democratic primary voters around the state via a screened online survey. The margin of error is 5 percent.

Follow more of our reporting on First in the South

See all 10 stories
Related stories from The State in Columbia SC

Bristow Marchant is currently split between covering Richland County and the 2020 presidential race. He has more than 10 years’ experience covering South Carolina. He won the S.C. Press Association’s 2015 award for Best Series on a toxic Chester County landfill fire, and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.

  Comments