Only one quarter of Americans trust the US Senate to hold a fair impeachment trial

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  • A new survey of U.S. adults found that just 23% trusted the U.S. Senate to fairly conduct an impeachment trial.
  • 46% of Americans — twice as many — do not trust the Senate to handle the Trump impeachment evenhandedly. 
  • Those respondents who said they’d participate in the Democratic primary were overhwlmingly skeptical. 
  • 61% of the Democrartic primary participants said they didn’t trust the Senate to do a fair trial compared to merely 16% who do.
  • Republicans are more split than one might imagine: while 42% trust the Senate to do a fair trial, 33% do not. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On the first day of opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Americans had little faith in the Senate’s capacity to conduct a fair trial, new Insider polling has found. 

For the past several months, Insider has been conducting a series of SurveyMonkey Audience polls to gauge Americans’ opinions on the ongoing impeachment proceedings. You can download every poll here, down to the individual respondent data. (Read more about how the Insider polling works here).

On January 22, Insider surveyed 1,070 Americans to gauge their opinions on the impeachment trial so far. We asked, “Do you trust the U.S. Sentate to run a fair impeachment trial?”

Out of all respondents, just 23% said they thought the Senate would conduct a fair trial: 

  • 10% said they “strongly trust” the Senate to be fair. 
  • 13% said they trust the Senate to be fair.
  • 19% neither trust nor distrust the Senate to be fair.
  • 26% strongly do not trust the Senate to be fair. 
  • 11.5% said they didn’t know. 

That’s a dim view of the world’s greatest deliberative body.

Though the split is in many ways driven by the party identification of the respondents, substantial percentages of poll respondents who said they would participate in a Republican primary rather than a Democratic primary expressed skepticism about the process. 

Of the 454 respondents who said that they would likely participate in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus, 38% “strongly do not trust the Senate to be fair” and 23% “do not trust the Senate to be fair,” a combined fraction that is four times as high than the total percentage of Democratic respondents who trust the Senate, strongly or ortherwise (16%).

Among those who respondended they’d rather vote in the Republican primary or caucus, 43% said they trusted the Senate, 33% said they did not trust the senate, and the remaining 24% responded “neither” or “I don’t know.”

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