New Poll Shows How Americans Feel About Al Franken Remaining in Office
A majority of voters think the Senate Ethics Committee should investigate Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), and half think Franken should resign from the Senate, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
The poll was conducted after radio personality Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken groped her in 2006, prior to his Senate tenure — but before a second woman, Lindsay Menz, said that Franken touched her inappropriately while he was a senator in 2010. Still, 66 percent of voters said the ethics panel should probe Franken’s conduct, while only 15 percent think the committee should not look into the matter.
Fully 50 percent of voters think Franken, who has served in the Senate since 2009, should resign, and 22 percent think he should not resign.
The Franken results, though, underscore a partisan divide in how voters view allegations of sexual misconduct against political figures. Democratic voters are more likely to find allegations against Democrats credible and endorse significant punishments than Republican voters are when it comes to allegations against GOP lawmakers and candidates.
When it comes to Franken, the partisan gap is narrow: Forty-nine percent of Democrats think he should resign, along with 56 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents.
Contrast Franken with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, however. A 57 percent majority of voters say the Senate should expel Moore if he wins the Dec. 12 special election, but the percentage of Democrats who want Moore expelled (73 percent) is significantly greater than the percentage of Republicans (46 percent) who think he should be kicked out of the Senate.
There are also small differences by party in voter perceptions of the charges of sexual misconduct by former President Bill Clinton. Similar percentages of Democrats (65 percent), Republicans (69 percent) and independents (63 percent) find those allegations to be credible.
But compare that with the allegations against President Donald Trump. "Our polling reveals a stark contrast in how Democrats and Republicans view allegations against politicians from their respective political parties,” said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “For example, while 69 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats say the sexual assault allegations against Clinton are credible, only 37 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats say the same about allegations made against Trump."