September 8, 2006

A new CNN poll is worth paying close attention to. At first blush, the results appear to be discouraging, but they're far from it.

Americans foresee "more gridlock" in government if Democrats take over the House and/or the Senate after elections this fall, a CNN poll shows.

And while the poll shows a majority of Americans would favor probes by a Democratic Congress into Bush administration actions, most Americans oppose impeaching President Bush.

Let's take those one at a time. On the first question, 70% expect "gridlock and stalemate" while 27% believe there would be "cooperation between the two parties." But, as Josh Marshall noted, the wording of CNN's poll question "is a textbook example of the question itself dictating the answer."

On the second point, 55% said they think it would be good for the country "if the Democrats in Congress were able to conduct official investigations into what the Bush administration has done in the past six years." In contrast, 41% said such probes would be bad for the country. That's surprisingly good. Republicans have been warning voters the last few months that Congress will become some kind of radical investigating machine, bent on accountability, so we better leave the GOP in the majority. This poll suggests Americans actually want official investigations into Bush's conduct.

For that matter, 30% said Bush should face impeachment. In other words, a higher percentage of the country supports Bush impeachment now than supported Clinton impeachment at the height of the Lewinsky scandal. (You know, before he was actually impeached.) Maybe it's not such a crazy idea after all.

– Guest post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

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