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Voters say Congressional scandals will sway their votes

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October 6, 2006

By JIM KUHNHENN

Congressional Republicans, already struggling against negative public perceptions of Congress, now face voters who say new scandals will significantly influence their vote in November.

With midterm elections less than five weeks away, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that about half of likely voters say recent disclosures of corruption and scandal in Congress will be very or extremely important when they cast their vote next month.

The poll was conducted this week as House Republican leaders came under increasing pressure to explain what they knew of sexually explicit messages from former Rep. Mark Foley of Florida to teenage pages.

More troubling for Republicans, the poll found that by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 likely voters says Democrats would be better at combatting political corruption than Republicans.

The Foley scandal, fueled by new revelations each day, has put Republican leaders and GOP candidates on the defensive, forcing them into a political detour just as they were preparing their final offensive against Democrats to save control of Congress.

At least one House Republican said Wednesday the GOP likely will lose control in November.

Four-term Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, asked if he were confident about retaining the majority, said, "Not confident."

"It was pretty much a given in conventional wisdom six months ago that the House was gone, we’d lost the House," Simpson said in an interview with The Associated Press. "In September we came back after August recess, conventional wisdom shifted we would lose three, four or five seats but would retain the majority. That was good until last Thursday. From Thursday, it went to fairly confident we were going to keep the majority to a real tossup."

The poll also found that President Bush’s efforts to depict the war in Iraq as part of a larger campaign against terrorism and to portray Democrats as weak on national security was not altering the political landscape.

Approval of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq was at 37 percent among likely voters, down slightly from 41 percent last month. Bush’s rating on handling foreign policy and terrorism also fell slightly, from 47 percent last month to 43 percent this month.

Similarly, recent good news on the economic front _ from lower gas prices to a rising stock market _ did not appear to pierce through the public’s downbeat view of the economy. Fifty-six percent of likely voters disapproved of Bush’s handling of the economy, compared to 59 percent who held that view last month.

The poll of 741 likely voters, was conducted Monday through Wednesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Overall, the president’s and Congress’ low approval ratings were essentially unchanged from last month. Among likely voters, 24 percent approved of the way Congress was handling its job and 39 percent approved of Bush’s job performance.


© 2006 The Associated Press

14 Responses to Voters say Congressional scandals will sway their votes

  1. keith

    October 6, 2006 at 4:50 am

    In an editorial aired this evening on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann made a special comment about lies and lying. In it, he accuses the current sitting President of the United States of being unbowed, undeterred and unconnected to reality and for continuing his extraordinary trek through our country rooting out the real enemies of freedom: the Democrats.

    It’s absolutely well worth the read at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15147009/from/ET/

  2. South Point Man

    October 6, 2006 at 10:21 am

    This, of course, is assuming that there will even be a vote in November…

    The scuttlebutt is that the Iran attack will be launched in the last week of this month.

    “Yee-ee-ee-ha! Nuke ‘em high, nuke ‘em low. Nuke ‘em until they glow, glow, glow!”

    It’s definitely something that our Crazy In Chief, Lips, and the rest of the cabal of evilness would do. After all, what do they have to worry about? They already have their bomb shelters ready when in case Russia and China get in a cranky mood and launch some nukes themselves, headed for the good ol’ USofA. And then it will be Big Barbeque time and none of the voting machines will work anyway as the national electrical grid will be knocked by the EMP effect.

    I don’t why the hell the US military is going along with this. Most of its members won’t survive the nuclear war and certainly their spouses and relatives won’t as they will all be turned into radioactive charcoal. So I don’t don’t why they don’t just tell Lips to go take a long flying leap off a very short pier.

    Are we even going be here in November to vote at all? That’s the question now.

    Is nuclear war Rove’s “October surpise”? That sly prankster…

  3. Sandy Price

    October 6, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    I was stunned at the Keith Olbermann tirade last night and found myself cheering his words. How could one man in power bring down not only a strong political party but an entire nation of Americans? We gave this power to Bush? When?

    If a lying Commander in chief leading us into an illegal war, can’t destroy us, what else can we expect? Why am I not surprised that something sexual would trip him up?

    If this doesn’t turn the GOP off, nothing will. I just hope apathy and fear of Bush’s actions won’t keep him with a Congress full of forgiving Christians and take us all the way down the drain.

    We apparently have no moral standards left at all. I actually expected more Republican Congressmen to stand up against the actions of Foley’s abuse of power. Silly me, I continue to search for men among cowards.

  4. John Hanks

    October 6, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    Boobus Americanus. They lose their house and their car to Republicans. Their kiids become whores or soldiers. But, it finally takes a peep show to get them riled.

    When a nation is just a bunch of crooks and suckers (almost without exception) it cannot defend itself from global warming.

  5. Stephen Verchinski

    October 6, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    The Republican Culture of corruption runs deeper that just the Foleygate. The real stories that the mainstream press barely covers is the turning a blind eye to corrupt practices done by our corporations overseas like the environmental degradation by Freeport McMoran and our continued expenditure of taxpayer funded overseas private investment insurance and the failure of our Republican held Commerce Committee to hold them accountable, the lack of oversight of the lost billions in Iraq under the Medal of Freedom winner Paul Bremer, the blatant fraud and waste of taxpayer money on Iraq troop support and reconstruction by Haliburton, Bechtel and others with no Defense Department oversight hearings by the Republicans, no hearings on escalating use of mercenaries in support of our military which is projected to consume almost one-half of the military budget, no oversight on the money spent on a pre Katrina emergency plan that was never created. The Republicans in part are the major blame in this mess but “We the People..” have to take on share for a failure to place the corporate culture of irresponsibility on hold. We should be eliminating corporate personhood and cleaning up the money from them that influence the lowest of the low to seek and obtain political office.

  6. JP

    October 6, 2006 at 4:06 am

  7. R. Ruffian

    October 6, 2006 at 4:47 am

  8. keith

    October 6, 2006 at 4:50 am

  9. South Point Man

    October 6, 2006 at 10:21 am

  10. Sandy Price

    October 6, 2006 at 1:27 pm

  11. John Hanks

    October 6, 2006 at 6:09 pm

  12. Stephen Verchinski

    October 6, 2006 at 9:25 pm

  13. JP

    October 6, 2006 at 4:06 am

    Republicans still have the “snore” of an asleep America and Diebold…do you really believe they give a damn about what the polls say….if it don’t go their way they’ll hack the vote…again.

  14. R. Ruffian

    October 6, 2006 at 4:47 am

    I was certainly disappointed that Nancy Pelosi shot down the appointment of Louis Freeh to head the House investigation of Bugger-gate. If Freeh had been in charge and given enough time and money we all would have looked forward with confidence to his ultimate finding that Bill Clinton is responsible not Tom Foley and Dennis Hastert.