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Expand chart
Data: Survey Monkey online poll conducted August 22-24, 2018 among 4,362 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±3.0 percentage points. Modeled error estimates: African-American women ±7.0, age 18 to 34 ±4.5, White suburban women ±5.0, Never Hillary Independent voters ±8.0, Rural voters ±4.0; Poll methodology; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Almost two thirds of Americans believe Michael Cohen's claim that President Trump ordered him to make illegal payments to two women to keep them quiet about his affairs — but less than half of Americans believe Congress should start impeachment proceedings, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: Republicans believe it's those payments, which would have violated campaign finance law, that put Trump in the greatest danger of impeachment if Democrats win the House in November. The poll shows that the majority of Americans, including about half of independents, aren't ready for that.

Between the lines: Axios and SurveyMonkey are tracking opinions on key issues among five key voter subgroups between now and the November elections. Here's what we found in the poll, taken right after Cohen implicated Trump last week:

  • Three key subgroups — white suburban women, "Never Hillary" independents, and rural voters — are strongly against impeachment.
  • Two subgroups — Millennials and African American women — strongly favor it.
  • However, every subgroup believes Cohen about the illegal payments. The numbers suggest that many Americans just aren't bothered about it to demand impeachment proceedings.
  • Americans are more divided about whether Trump's campaign colluded with the Russian government to swing the 2016 presidential election to him. Millennials and African American women believe it, rural voters and "Never Hillary independents" don't, and white suburban women are split.

What to watch: Impeachment would be so disruptive to the country, if Democrats actually attempted it, that they're sure to be watching the poll numbers closely for signs that a majority of the country would support it.

  • Top Democrats have already been cautious in how they talk about it, if they talk about it at all. Here's what Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee and the man who would lead an impeachment effort, told The New Yorker in February: "[Y]ou should not impeach the President unless you really believe that, by the end of the process, you will have not only Democrats agreeing with you but a good fraction of the people who voted for him.”

The danger signs for Trump:

  • More than four out of 10 Americans say they're ready for impeachment.
  • That's more than President Richard Nixon faced after the "Saturday Night Massacre."
  • Independents are not overwhelmingly against impeachment. They're split almost down the middle.

Historical note: Nixon's impeachment numbers, as measured by Gallup polls at the time, didn't reach a majority until right before he resigned, per the Pew Research Center.

The bottom line: Trump is not in immediate danger now — but he is not safe.

Methodology: This analysis is based on SurveyMonkey online surveys conducted Aug. 22-24, 2018 among 4,362 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate  for the full sample is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points. Sample sizes and modeled error estimates for the subgroups are as follows:

African-American Women (n=259, +/- 7), Millennials Age 18 - 34  (n=846, +/- 4.5), White Suburban Women  (n=743 , +/- 5), NeverHillary/Independent voters  (n= 273, +/- 8), Rural  (n= 1,036, +/- 4). Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. More information about our methodology here. Crosstabs available here.

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.