Impeachment of the president has gone mainstream.
An astonishing 53 percent of Americans in a new poll released today by Zogby International now support impeachment of President George W. Bush if it can be shown that he lied to get the US into a war with Iraq.
Equally stunning, the poll, which was commissioned by the organization After Downing Street, shows that even among so-called independents, support for impeachment is 50 percent, and among Republicans, it has reached 29 percent or more than one in four.
The poll, which surveyed 1200 people across the country during the Oct. 29-November 2 period, shows a marked rise in support for impeachment in recent months.
In late June, Zogby, a non-partisan survey organization, polled using the same question, and found 42 percent of the public in favor of impeachment of the president.
Less than a month ago, Ipsos Public Affairs also polled on impeachment and found 50 percent in favor.
John Zogby confesses to having been "surprised" at the latest result, calling the 19 percent shift in favor of impeachment over four months' time "remarkable" and "much higher than I expected."
The numbers have to be worrisome to an increasingly embattled White House. After all, it suggests that a higher proportion of the American public now favors impeachment than voted for him, even using the official vote totals from the scandal-plagued 2004 election.
The numbers will give new urgency and energy to several grass-roots organizations, including Democrats.com, Democracy Rising, and Not In Our Name, which are all pressing for impeachment to be an issue in the 2006 congressional campaign.
In fact, Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, in announcing the latest Zogby results, also announced formation of an impeachment campaign fund, Impeach PAC, which he said hopes will quickly raise $100,000 via the Internet to be parceled out to those congressional candidates who promise to support an immediate simultaneous impeachment of President Bush and vice President Dick Cheney for lying in the runup to the Iraq War.
The latest Zogby poll shows support for impeachment being the majority position in all parts of the US except for the South and in all age groups except for those 65 and older, only 42 percent of whom supported having Congress oust the president.
Clearly, the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the mounting US death toll in Iraq which has now passed the 2000 mark, and a string of corruption scandals and poor decisions (notably the Katrina response) has Americans ready to contemplate forcibly ousting the president from office before his term is up.
So far, not one Democratic member of Congress has announced plans to enter a bill of impeachment in the House.
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