Majority of Americans want Bush Impeached

What a great title to a blog! It could convey all sorts of information that, without thinking, could lead the casual reader to think that the majority of Americans want Bush out of the White House.

Certainly there is a growing number of Americans who want this, but remember that when I say "Impeached" I mean that a formal investigation is undertaken by congress, the outcome of which is to determine whether the president should be removed from office. Only two presidents in US history (Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998) have been impeached, and both survived. The fact that Bush gets impeached does not mean that he will be removed from office - that's for congress to decide.

As far as I know, impeachment consists firstly of members of the house deciding whether or not the Senate should impeach the president. This is done by a simple majority. Once a majority of house reps say "yes" to impeachment, then it goes up to the Senate. Once it reaches the Senate, and after lengthy debate, a two-thirds majority is needed to remove the president. With Clinton, the simple majority (228-206) of the House got the Senate to do their stuff, but the Senate did not have a two-thirds majority (it was 55-45 in favour of Clinton). So while Clinton was "impeached", he was not removed.

So what does this mean for George Bush?

It means that the majority of Americans want his wiretapping to be investigated. While many obviously think that the wiretapping deserves removal, many more are obviously concerned enough to demand some form of investigation - one that will either indict or exonerate the President.

The poll was done by Zogby, and there are two downloads you can examine for yourself:

Zogby (results that cover American adults) - pdf file, 20.8kb
Zogby (results that cover those who intend to vote at the next election) - pdf file, 25.2kb

While the two results may give the impression that two polls were taken, the fact is that only one poll was taken and it was broken into two results - one that covers the general population (American adults) and one that covers those who intend to vote. Obviously there is a considerable overlap between them.

The question asked was:

If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment?

The summary of the results are: 1216 polled, 51.7% want congress to consider impeachment, 42.8% don't want congress to consider impeachment, and 5.5% don't know.

But there's some rather telling and/or surprising results:

  1. The greatest amount of "don't knows" come from the South (9.1%)
  2. While all regions have a majority desiring impeachment, the slimmest margin is in the Midwest / Great Lakes region (49.4% want impeachment, 45.7% do not)
  3. The region with the biggest margin in support of impeachment is in the South. (52.6% want impeachment, 38.3% do not)
  4. Support for impeachment is greatest among those aged 18-24 (89.7%), followed by 25-34 (52.9%). Support is then equally balanced among 35-54 year olds (46.9% agree, 46.9% disagree), and is directed more towards Bush among 54-69 year olds (49.3% disagree, 46.7% agree) and is given great support by the 70+ age bracket (52.5% support, but 8.8% don't know - the highest level of all age groups).
  5. States that the Republicans won in 2004 have a 50.7% support for impeachment, while states that the Democrats won in 2004 have a 52.7% support for impeachment.
  6. Support for impeachment is weakest (49.5% but still a majority) amongst those who shop at Wal-Mart on a weekly basis.
  7. Of those who belong to a political party, the results are obvious. 71.3% of Democrats want impeachment while 70.5% of Republicans are opposed to it. Independents have a 58.5% support.
  8. Interestingly, the higher the educational achievement of the person is, the less support they have for impeachment. 71.6% of High School dropouts favour impeachment, 58.9% of High School grads (who have not gone on to college) support impeachment, 52.1% of college dropouts favour impeachment, while 48.1% of college grads (a majority) do NOT support impeachment. This result is obviously affected by racial elements - eg the majority of high school dropouts being African Americans, college grads being white, and so on.
  9. White Americans are divided but slightly favour non-impeachment (46.7% yes to 47.7% no)
  10. Hispanics are not impressed with Bush (56.3% yes to 38.0% no)
  11. African Americans appear to despise the guy (74.8% yes to 20.6% no)
  12. Asians are even less impressed than the Hispanics (60.7% yes to 32.6% no)
  13. Those who live in large cities (55.6% yes) or small cities (58.1% yes) want Bush impeached, while those who live in the suburbs (48.9% no but a majority) or in rural areas (49.6% no but a majority) do not want him impeached.
  14. Catholics (50.0% yes) want Bush impeached while Protestants (50.0% no) do not.
  15. 62.5% of Muslims do NOT want Bush impeached (a statistical anomoly methinks, less than 10 were clearly identified in the poll)
  16. 83.0% of Jews want Bush impeached.
  17. 57.4% of Born Again Christians do NOT want Bush impeached (groan!!)
  18. Married people are more likely to NOT want impeachment (52.1%), while 74.8% of singles and 53.4% of Divorced/Separated/Windowed do want Bush impeached.
  19. 49.0% of members of the armed forces want Bush impeached, while 44.0% do not.
  20. 49.7% of NASCAR fans want Bush impeached, while 46.5% do not
  21. Regular church attenders do not want Bush impeached, while less regular attenders support impeachment.
  22. 48.5% of men want Bush impeached, while 45.9% do not.
  23. 54.6% of women want Bush impeached, while 39.9% do not.
  24. Those who earn less than $50,000 per year want Bush impeached. Those who earn more than that amount do not want him impeached.
And, of course, a note on Zogby. According to the Wikipedia article, John Zogby, the guy who runs the polls, is pretty much the "Liberal Democrat" and blogs for The Huffington Post. His predictions for the 2000 election were spot-on but he was mistaken in the 2004 election. I'm not too concerned that the guy has a political stance, but I am naturally concerned if his political bias means that facts get changed around. Nevertheless, Zogby polls are increasingly respected in the mainstream, and hopefully other polling agencies will supply their skills to confirm or deny whether most Americans want Bush to be investigated for his wiretapping.

From the One Salient Overlord Department

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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