As the impeachment probe intensifies, 40% of Americans say they think Mike Pence would make a better president than Trump

Associated Press
  • As the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump forges on, Insider polled Americans on whether they think Vice President Mike Pence would perform better in the nation’s highest office.
  • About 40% of respondents said they think Pence would make a better president than Trump.
  • That’s a remarkably high proportion of the population.
  • Trump still has GOP loyalty – 61% of Republican voters said they prefer him to Pence – but from a sitting president’s own party, the amount of support is lacklustre.
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An outsize chunk of the American population think Vice President Mike Pence would make a better president than Donald Trump, according to a new Insider poll.

So far, no president in US history has been convicted and removed from office following an impeachment – but as House Democrats continue to press on with their impeachment inquiry into Trump, Americans are contending with the idea of Pence rising to the presidency.

Insider surveyed more than 1,000 adults in a national poll, asking “Generally speaking, do you think Vice President Mike Pence would be a good president?” Here’s how Americans responded:

  • Yes, and I think he’d probably be a better president than President Trump, 9.6%
  • Yes, but probably not as good a president as President Trump, 18.1%
  • No, but I think he’d probably be a better president than President Trump, 29.2%
  • No, and I think he’d probably be a worse president than President Trump, 21.6%
  • I don’t know, 21.5%

A plurality of those polled felt that Pence would not make a good president, but would be more competent than Trump in the role. Respondents were nearly evenly split in their preferences between Pence and Trump, with nearly 40% preferring either option.

The amount of support for Pence is atypical: Usually, voters are not especially opinionated when it comes to vice presidents. Previous polling from Gallup has shown that Pence has higher net favorability – the percentage point difference between favorability and unfavorability – than Trump, while the previous two administrations were characterised by higher favorability for the president.

Trump has GOP backing, but even Republicans have doubt

Among respondents who plan to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus, more had faith in Trump than Pence. Sixty-one per cent of Republican voters thought Trump would make a better president than Pence, while 23.3% thought the opposite. Just under 16% said they didn’t know. (The majority of Democrats, on the other hand, thought Pence would outperform Trump in the role.)

Though most Republicans prefer Trump, 61% – under two-thirds – is a lukewarm majority from a sitting president’s own party.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has maintained a high level of approval from Republicans, at a rate hovering consistently between 87 and 90%. Insider’s poll suggests that his party’s loyalty might not be as steadfast as previously thought.

Read more:

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SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,083 respondents collected October 4-5, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.06 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

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