A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans support the move by congressional Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump over the Ukraine controversy.

And The Washington Post-Schar School survey, which was released Tuesday, shows that just under half of people questioned say the House should vote to impeach the president.


But in a warning sign to Democrats, by a 50-46 percent margin Americans say the impeachment proceedings are distracting Congress from more important issues.

Fifty-eight percent of those questioned in the survey said they support the inquiry, with 49 percent indicating the House should vote to impeach the president. Thirty-eight percent of those questioned said they opposed the impeachment inquiry by the House Democrats.

If the Democrat-controlled House votes to impeach Trump, a trial to remove the president from office would likely then take place in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Support for impeachment is up by double digits from Washington Post polls conducted earlier this year – well before Trump came under fire over his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over their dealings in the eastern European country that’s been battling Russia. Fueled by whistleblower complaints and a transcript of the call released by the White House, Democrats argue the president was asking a foreign country to potentially interfere in a U.S. election.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong and has on numerous occasions described his conversation with the Ukrainian leader as “perfect.”

The president and allies have instead tried to put the spotlight in the scandal on Biden, a political rival who’s hoping to face off against the president in next year’s election.

Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. Trump and fellow Republicans have questioned how Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into corruption at the company. The prosecutor – who had been widely accused by both Democrats and Republicans of overlooking corruption in his own office – was later dismissed.

The poll highlights a wide partisan divide, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats backing the inquiry and nearly 8 in 10 supporting a House vote that Trump be removed from office.

Among Republicans, roughly 7 in 10 don’t support the inquiry.

Fifty-seven percent of independents polled said they support the inquiry, with just under half saying the House should vote to impeach the president.

The Washington Post-Schar School poll was conducted Oct. 1-6, with 1,007 U.S. adults questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.