Majority in InvestmentNews reader poll oppose Trump impeachment

Buttigieg, Bloomberg and Biden top list of Democratic presidential candidates

Nov 22, 2019 @ 4:00 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

A majority of InvestmentNews readers who participated in a survey this week oppose the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

On Thursday, the House likely wrapped up public hearings over allegations that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine by withholding military aid until the country agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over the younger Biden's role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

In coming weeks, the Democratic-majority House is likely to vote on impeaching Mr. Trump. The Republican-majority Senate would then conduct a trial. If convicted, Mr. Trump would be removed from office.

That's not the outcome advisers who took the IN survey want to see. The poll of 388 readers shows that 57% don't think Mr. Trump should be impeached over Ukraine, while 34.7% say he should. Another 8.5% are undecided.

Bob Bagley, owner of Bullish Bob Bagley, an independent broker-dealer in Dallas, said the impeachment process is an attempt to overturn the 2016 election.

"I think impeachment is only for high crimes and misdemeanors, and nothing [Mr.] Trump has done meets that criteria," Mr. Bagley said. "Just because you don't agree with his management style or the points he makes is not grounds for impeachment."

An adviser who wants Mr. Trump impeached cited what he calls the harm done to the United States' global influence as a result of the allegations involving the Ukraine.

"This has eroded confidence in our country by our allies, and that makes for a more dangerous world," said David O'Brien, principal at EVOadvisers in Richmond, Va. "From a financial planning standpoint, that is not a good thing."

[Recommended video: How will markets react to news about the White House?]

Most of the readers surveyed like what they've seen from Mr. Trump in his first three years in office. A majority — 52% — approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing, while 44% disapprove. The extremes almost balance each other out, with 30.4% strongly approving and 35.1% strongly disapproving.

There doesn't appear to be any buyer's remorse when it comes to Mr. Trump. The poll shows that 81.9% of those who voted for him in 2016 intend to vote for his re-election next year.

Advisers who plan to vote in the Democratic presidential primary next year list South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (28.4%), former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (23.5%) and Mr. Biden (20.8%) as their top favorites.

Those three candidates tend to be more centrist than Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who polled at 7.1% and 4.4%, respectively.

Dan Galli, owner of Daniel J. Galli & Associates in Norwell, Mass., declined to give his opinion on impeachment. But he said he does notice that his clients' political views mirror their market views. Conservatives believe Mr. Trump's policies are good for their portfolios, while liberals believe the markets did better under President Barack Obama.

"The reality is, when you look at the numbers, both groups have done very well regardless of who is in office," Mr. Galli said.

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