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Poll: Half of Americans want impeachment proceedings against Trump to begin

A new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post found that half of Americans want Congress to begin the impeachment process against President Donald Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Is it time for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party to be worried? If a newly published poll is to be believed, the mood among voters is decidedly not pro-Trump and may signal that a "blue wave" in the 2018 midterms could be looming — despite Trump's claims to the contrary.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll posted Friday reveals that half of Americans believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president.

It won't be a Republican House majority that gets that rolling.

What are the details?

The poll found that 49 percent of Americans want impeachment proceedings against Trump to begin. This includes 15 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats, and 49 percent of independents.

The president's approval rating currently sits at 36 percent — which is down 7 points from the same poll in July. His disapproval number bumped up to 60 percent from 55 percent last month.

This probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise: As Republicans continue to struggle with exactly how to handle the volatile de facto head of their party, Americans are indicating that they're not thrilled with some of the recent headlines connected to the Trump administration.

For example, though the president has repeatedly trashed special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as a "witch hunt," the American public largely supports the Mueller probe. Sixty-three percent said they back it, including a third of Republicans and two-thirds of independents.

Americans are also not thrilled with how Trump has "interfered" with the investigation. More than half of respondents (53 percent) say Trump attempted to interfere with the investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice. This includes 19 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents.

The survey also asked voters for their thoughts on President Trump's very public and long-running feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Sessions' decision to allow the Mueller probe to continue. When asked to pick a side, 62 percent said they sided with Sessions, while just 23 percent said they sided with the president.

And Americans don't want Sessions fired: Only 19 percent said Trump should fire his attorney general. Less than a third of GOPers were willing to say Sessions should go.

The poll also asked for Americans' thoughts on the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was found guilty of tax and bank fraud. At least 67 percent said the case against Manafort was justified, including half of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

Only a small share of voters (18 percent) said they would support Trump giving Manafort a presidential pardon.

The Cohen factor

Another scandal involving a former Trump ally has also fed into bad polling news for the president.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to fraud and illegal campaign finance charges and implicated the president. Cohen alleged that the president directed him to pay off two women — Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal — who claimed to have had affairs with Trump several years ago and that the president reimbursed him.

Pollsters found that a significant majority of Americans (61 percent) think that, if Trump did direct Cohen to pay the women, then he committed a crime. More than a quarter of Republicans and 6 in 10 independents shared that view.

Drain the swamp?

Nearly half of Americans believe that corruption in D.C. has gotten worse since Trump's inauguration. According to the poll, 45 percent say the amount of corruption in Washington as increased since the president took office, while only 13 percent say it has decreased.

This is not just a partisan issue: 71 percent of Republicans believe corruption has increased or stayed about the same over the last 19 months.

Are there any bright spots in this poll?

Not really.

In the one area where Trump has typically performed the best — the economy — his numbers in this poll are under water.

Trump's RealClearPolitics average approval rating when it comes to the economy is 50 percent, and his disapproval average is 42.3 percent.

However, in the new ABC/Washington Post poll, only 45 percent of Americans — including just 47 percent of independents — approve of how Trump is handling the economy, while 47 percent disapprove.

The poll was conducted with 1,003 random adults and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 points.

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