(CN) – Slightly more Americans now support the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump than in early September, before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced the probe, Pew Research Center reported Thursday.
In a survey of 3,487 adults between Oct. 1 and 13, Pew researchers found that 54% of respondents now approve of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, up 4% from the 50% of respondents who favored an inquiry in the beginning of September.
Additionally, 9% of those who opposed an inquiry last month now approve of House Democrats’ move in the latest survey. Four percent of those who favored impeachment in September now disapprove of the inquiry, resulting in a net gain of 5% favoring impeachment.
However, respondents indicated that they had little confidence in Congress to handle the inquiry fairly and reasonably.
Republican respondents were less optimistic, with 57% who said that they were not too confident or not at all confident that Congress would handle the inquiry with fairness in mind, and 52% of Democratic respondents felt the same.
More specifically, researchers also sought to measure which party gave respondents the most confidence as the inquiry moves forward. Though no clear majority emerged from this metric, the data overall slightly favored Democrats. Thirty-five percent of overall respondents indicated confidence in Democrats and little confidence in Republicans. Reciprocally, 31% indicated confidence in Republicans and little to no confidence in Democrats. More than one in five (21%) indicated little to no confidence in either party on this issue.
Similarly to other recent Pew data, respondents indicated high confidence in their own party and low confidence in the opposing party. Sixty-four percent of Republicans and 65% of Democrats had confidence in their own party and little to no confidence in the other party.
Democratic respondents were slightly more likely to have confidence in both parties at 16%, while only 7% of Republican respondents said the same.
Republicans were more likely to have little to no confidence in either party at 26%, and 16% of Democrats felt the same.
As impeachment is a direct consequence of specific condemnable actions by a president, researchers asked respondents whether they thought Trump has done things that are grounds for impeachment. Overall, 58% leaned toward the affirmative, with 40% who said that he has "definitely" committed impeachable offenses.
However, the average belied a wide schism between Democrats and Republicans. Eighty percent of Republican respondents said it is unlikely or impossible that Trump has committed impeachable offenses, and 93% of Democrats felt the opposite.
Age, education level and individual knowledge of impeachment news also played a slight role in respondents' feelings toward impeachment. Younger Republicans (18-29 years old) were the most likely among right-wing respondents to back the impeachment inquiry, at 30%.
Younger Democrats were slightly less likely to support impeachment than their older counterparts at 84%, compared to 90% of those between 30-49, 89% of those between 50-64 years old and 91% of respondents over 65.
College graduates were the most likely to support impeachment, with 92% of Democrats approving, as well as 20% of Republicans in this category. Twelve percent of Republicans with some college experience supported impeachment, along with 91% of Democrats in that group.
Notably, Republicans who said they were more educated on impeachment news were less likely to support the inquiry than Republicans who knew little to nothing about the situation, at 10% versus 22%, respectively.
Democrats with more knowledge of impeachment news were more likely to support the inquiry at 94%, versus 84% of Democrats who knew little about the proceedings and news.
Overall, respondents indicated a wide divide along partisan lines on impeachment, as they have in many Pew surveys during the Trump administration. However, the data suggests that impeachment is becoming increasingly popular as the proceedings continue in the House of Representatives, despite tepid confidence in Congress' ability to navigate the inquiry fairly.