Presidential election 2020: Only 7% in Iowa feel impeachment is a big issue; Donald Trump leads Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren

While impeachment as an issue is not making much of a mark, another survey finds that more Americans approve of House's decision to launch impeachment inquiry against the president.

                            Presidential election 2020: Only 7% in Iowa feel impeachment is a big issue; Donald Trump leads Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren
Donald Trump (Getty Images)

The first contest for next year’s presidential elections is still three-and-half months away but there are already signs that will not make the Democrats happy. The reason? Few voters in Iowa, where the first Democratic caucus will take place on February 3, 2020, consider the ongoing impeachment procedure against President Donald Trump a major issue and two top Democratic contenders are trailing him in a hypothetical head-to-head.

According to a recent survey from Emerson Polling, only six per cent consider impeachment the “most important” issue while those like the economy (33 per cent), healthcare (19 per cent) and social issues (10 per cent) get more limelight. Impeachment ranked a poor seventh among nine factors, ahead of only education (five per cent) and foreign policy (three per cent). The worst part is that even among Democrats, issues like healthcare (25 per cent), economy (17 per cent) and the environment (14 per cent) have left impeachment behind.

“The Democrats have some work to do in Iowa convincing voters that impeachment is a top priority of Congress; 67% of Democrats in Iowa support impeaching the president, but only 10% identify it as the most important issue in deciding their vote for president,” said Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling and an assistant professor under whose supervision the survey was done between October 13 and 16.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 12: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) raise their hands during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls were chosen from the larger field of candidates to participate in the debate hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


While the Democratic camp sees a close run with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren tied at 23 per cent support among the party’s voters and Pete Buttigieg in third at 16 per cent and Bernie Sanders with 13 per cent, Trump was leading the Republican field by miles. Although he has a higher disapproval rate among women (52 per cent), Trump leads the field of four candidates in the Republican primary with an overwhelming 93 per cent of the vote. 

Sanders has a narrow lead over Trump; Pew survey shows impeachment support growing

And while pitted against the three top Democratic candidates, Trump leads both Biden and Warren by two points, although he falls behind Sanders by a similar margin. 

In 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Sanders in the Iowa caucuses while Ted Cruz beat Trump in the Republican race. Both wins were narrow.

Overall, however, people haven't changed their minds much over the impeachment drive since early September when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had yet to launch the inquiry, said another survey. In Iowa, too, although a small section thought impeachment was an issue, only 42 per cent supported the president’s impeachment as against 48 per cent who did not.

The survey, conducted on the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel between October 1 and 13, covering 3,487 adults, found that 54 per cent currently approve of the House’s decision to conduct the probe as against 44 per cent who felt otherwise. It said about one-in-10 adults (nine per cent) who disagreed with the House opening impeachment proceedings last month now back the decision to conduct it.

Among those who have changed their minds now are 32 per cent Republican and their sympathizers. Among the Democrats and their sympathizers, the figure is as high as 61 per cent. 

Neither party enjoys high confidence about being fair and reasonable during impeachment

However, when it comes to the two major parties, none of them commands much confidence that they will be “fair and reasonable” during the impeachment inquiry, as per the Pew survey. While 43 per cent feel the Republicans in the Congress will handle it fairly, 47 per cent have the same opinion about the Democrats. 

The impeachment inquiry was launched on September 24 following a whistleblower complaint that Trump allegedly tried to influence the president of Ukraine to probe Biden in an attempt to derail the latter’s electoral campaign. However, Trump insisted that he wanted Joe and his son Hunter probed in connection with corruption. The president said he was the victim of a witch-hunt.

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