When it comes to keeping President Obama in check, most voters say it would be better to elect an opposition Congress than to pursue impeachment hearings and lawsuits, according to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters say it would be better to elect a Congress that will block or halt the president’s policies than to waste time on lawsuits and impeachment hearings, according to the survey, which was conducted from July 11-12, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Only 15 percent of respondents say they favor impeachment, and only 12 percent say various lawsuits, like the one championed by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, are the way to keep the executive branch in line.
The lack of support for impeachment may be a bit puzzling considering that a separate Rasmussen survey found that 44 percent of likely voters believe that Obama has been “less faithful to the U.S. Constitution than most other presidents,” while only 22 percent of respondents say that he has been “more faithful."
But despite this finding, and widespread disapproval for Obama’s handling of issues both domestic and foreign, there appears to be a lack of popular support for his removal from office.
In total, only 32 percent of likely voters say that Obama should be impeached and ousted from the white House, while a majority, 58 percent, disagree.
The Rasmussen survey obviously throws cold water on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's recent call for Congress to impeach the 44th president.
“It's time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment,” Palin wrote in an op-ed published last week.
“The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is."
Her call for impeachment was of course met with derision from the president's supporters in both Congress and the media.
She remained undeterred and doubled down on her call to action.
“No serious person who is paying attention can deny that Obama and his administration have abused and violated the public trust and disregarded the Constitution. Let me count the ways,” Palin wrote in a separate op-ed published by Fox News.
“Without notifying Congress as required by law, he set free terrorist prisoners at a time of war when they can return to the battlefield to kill our troops."
The Rasmussen survey, which polled 1,000 likely voters, found that 52 percent of respondents believe it would actually be a bad thing for Congress to move forward with impeachment hearings. Meanwhile, 56 percent say an effort to impeach the president would likely hurt the Republican Party.
But the survey also found that 58 percent of self-identified Republican respondents believe Obama should be impeached and removed from office, while only 32 percent say it would harm the GOP.
Fifty-two percent of Republican voters did agree, however, that electing an opposition Congress to oppose the president is the better way to go.
Lastly, only 26 percent of likely voters say it would be a good thing if Congress moves to impeach Obama, while a much smaller percentage, 13 percent, say it would have “no impact.”
For Republican strategists and consultants, the takeaway seems pretty clear: Skip the lawsuits and impeachment talk and focus on winning seats in the upcoming midterm elections.