Most Minnesotans have unfavorable views of President Donald Trump. Most think he has trouble telling the truth. But just 36 percent say he should be impeached and removed from office.
A new Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll found that half of likely voters oppose impeachment and 15 percent are unsure. Reluctance to pursue that dramatic remedy comes from both genders, all income brackets and most age groups and parts of the state.
The exceptions: Residents of Hennepin and Ramsey counties are deadlocked on the wisdom of impeachment, and almost half of voters between 18 and 34 support such a move, while a third of them do not.
The partisan divide on the issue is stark. By large margins, Democrats and those who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 endorsed impeachment. Republicans and Trump voters rejected it emphatically.
A.S. Buchanan, 76, an independent voter in Minneapolis who manages rental properties, has mixed feelings about what she called “the I word.”
“I would hope that would be the last resort because of the potential of even more chaos that it could bring,” she said. “On the other hand, there have been so many egregious violations” by the president.
Kelly Martinson, 46, a freelance writer in St. Paul, said that Trump is “obviously not fit for the presidency.”
But she has qualms about impeachment, too. If Trump were removed, he would be replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, she said, and “the whole group [of Trump aides] I believe is complicit.”
Jerold Ford, 55, a Republican who lives near Battle Lake, called talk of impeachment “stupid” and “just ridiculous.”
“The only reason they don’t want Trump in there is because they don’t have a puppet to pull the strings on,” he said. “He has done more … in his first two years than any president ever.”
Because of Trump’s candidacy, Ford voted in 2016 for the first time since he was 18. He wants his votes on Nov. 6 to underscore ongoing support.
He’s not alone. The poll found that 29 percent of voters agree that even though Trump isn’t on this year’s ballot, they want their votes to signal approval of his leadership.
Forty-three percent said they want to change the direction the president is leading the nation. Just over a quarter of the respondents said their vote doesn’t have much to do with the president.
Significantly, more women and younger respondents said they are hoping to shift the nation away from Trump’s policies. But among all age groups, more people said they want to change the direction the president is taking the country.
Jo Kapinos, an 87-year-old retiree from Rochester, fell in that camp. She said Trump is too thin-skinned, and she was dismayed by his past comments about a Gold Star family and the late Sen. John McCain. “He doesn’t act presidential,” Kapinos said.