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Even In Deep Blue California, New PPIC Poll Suggests Only Democrats Back Impeachment

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

A 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention attendee holds up signs as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks in San Francisco, Saturday, June 1, 2019.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the California Democratic Party convention over the weekend, some delegates interrupted, shouting for her to impeach President Donald Trump.

But a new poll shows impeachment is out of step with a majority of Californians, although two-thirds of Golden State Democrats say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings.

In San Francisco at the California Democratic Party Convention, delegate and Chico City Council member Alex Brown said Trump “absolutely” deserves to be impeached.

“We have the process for a reason,” Brown said. “We should use it sparingly, and we should only use it when the person in leadership is a threat to our democracy.”

But even in deep blue California, likely voters oppose even starting impeachment proceedings — for the moment, at least — 54 percent to 42 percent.

That gives some Democratic delegates pause.

“I believe, as a Democrat, that if we continue on this course in the U.S. Congress, we’re gonna lose the House and we’re gonna lose the presidency,” said Los Angeles County delegate Tony Fellow, a professor at Cal State Fullerton. “That’s not what the voters want.”

Just 9 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents say they’d support impeachment proceedings.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a generational split among California Democrats as to what matters more in picking a presidential nominee: electability or policy views.

The poll found that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents between 18 and 44 years old are more likely to pick a primary candidate whose positions on issues most closely match their own. Voters 45-and-older are more likely to back the candidate they believe can defeat President Trump.

Ben Adler explains the split over electability vs. policy:

The PPIC’s findings match what CapRadio heard during a conversation with undecided primary voters at last weekend’s convention.

“One thing that’s really important for me is, we always say, who can win, who’s electable. But for me, it’s, ‘How can you solve the problems that got us here?’” said 27-year-old Keane Chukwuneta of Richmond.

“I’m all about electability,” said 56-year-old Mimi Falcone of Irvine. “I feel we have to get Trump out of office. I will vote for whoever will get him out of office.”

The poll also asked about some prominent debates at the state Capitol.

It found broad support for sweeping measures designed to build more housing and force parents to vaccinate their children.

The California Legislature blocked several efforts to address the state’s housing crisis — and voters appear to think lawmakers made a mistake.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he wants to withhold funding for local transportation projects from cities and counties that don’t build enough housing. But a later version of his proposal pushed back the implementation date after pushback from lawmakers, and it’s part of this week’s state budget negotiations.

In the Legislature, a state Senate bill forcing cities to approve multifamily housing proposals near transit hubs — even in cities where that zoning is currently not allowed — was sidelined until next year.

The poll shows both proposals have support by a two-to-one margin.

The survey also found that three out of four California adults think parents should be required to vaccinate their children. Only a quarter think parents should be able to decide for themselves.

A bill at the Capitol would give state health officers — rather than doctors — the final say on which children can skip vaccines.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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