Fox News hosts “stunned” after network's own poll shows support for impeaching President Trump rise

"The president's approval rating did tick up in the same poll, so it's almost like a split personality"

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published December 16, 2019 3:26PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Fox News hosts were “stunned” after the network’s latest poll showed support for President Donald Trump rise to 50 percent.

The poll showed found that 50 percent of registered voters support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, while 4 percent believe he should be impeached but not removed. Less than half of respondents, or 41 percent, said the president should not be impeached. At the same time, Trump's approval rating ticked up slightly to 45 percent. The same poll found support for Trump’s removal at 49 percent in late October.

The news shocked “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, given that Fox News has covered the impeachment push against Trump very differently than any other mainstream media outlet.

"A new Fox poll came out, and I was stunned by this. It says 50 percent of the country wants the president impeached," Kilmeade said. "I was stunned to see that that's the number, because I thought that things were trending away from impeachment. Although the president's approval rating did tick up in the same poll, so it's almost like a split personality.”

Trump also complained that Fox News polls do not paint the same rosy picture which many of the network’s opinion shows do.

“The @foxnewpolls [sic], always inaccurate, are heavily weighted toward Dems,” he tweeted Sunday “So ridiculous -- same thing happened in 2016. They got it all wrong. Get a new pollster!”

Trump’s tweet came after a Fox News poll also showed him losing to former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and even former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Trump also attacked Fox News’ polling in October, tweeting: “Whoever their pollster is, they suck.”

Kilmeade was not the only cable news host “stunned” by the Fox News poll. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough expressed disbelief at the support for removing the president.

“They are devastating up and down the line,” he exclaimed. “My gosh, you look at all of the numbers. I’m still stunned by the top number: Fifty percent still want him impeached and removed from office.”

Scarborough noted that public opinion is stronger against Trump than it was during the impeachment push against former President Bill Clinton.

“Those are devastating numbers,” he said. “Bill Clinton never got into the 30’s on impeachment . . . I just think about the Republicans that have been running around telling everybody and also the Trump hacks who work for online newspapers running around writing columns saying that this has been horrible for the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi. Those numbers are devastating up and down the line for any politician — Republican or Democrat alike.”

CNN reporter Jim Acosta noted that the poll was released just days after Trump predicted that House Democrats voting to bring articles of impeachment against him would send his poll numbers “through the roof.”

Bill Kristol, the conservative Never Trump pundit, pointed out that the poll suggests the Republican “attempt to turn impeachment into a circus has failed.”

Jon Favreau, a former aide to President Barack Obama, questioned whether the media would cover the political ramifications of the poll for Republicans the same way many cable news talking heads have claimed that impeachment would turn the public against Democrats.

“I’m sure this Fox poll will lead to a lot of takes about how politically risky it is for vulnerable Senate Republicans to help Trump and McConnell rig the trial,” he tweeted. “Right?”

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

MORE FROM Igor Derysh