Gop Voters Divide On Whether Herman Cain Had Affair

December 08, 2011, 6:00 PM GMT+0

Nearly all the GOP voters in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll had heard the allegations that businessman Herman Cain had a long-term extra-marital affair, allegations that affected his decision to suspend his campaign Friday. But many of those voters didn’t necessarily think the allegations were true. 

Republican voters were divided, with just 36% believing them, and 64% saying they were not true or withholding judgment. As far as the public overall, however, more than half believed the allegation.

Many Republicans who plan to vote in a GOP primary or caucus next year seemed to be willing to forgive or at least to ignore the charges: 47% would consider voting for a candidate who had an extra-marital affair; 23% would not.

In fact, both party’s voters think that extra-marital affairs are just as likely to occur in one party as the other. 88% of Democratic voters say Democratic and Republican politicians are equally likely to be unfaithful; 85% of Republican voters say this. 

However, while half the country thinks the media is as likely to focus on one party’s scandals as another’s, Republican voters see media bias. Two out of three GOP voters say the media will focus more on a sex scandal if the charges are made against a Republican.

Earlier charges against Cain involved accusations of sexual harassment during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association. GOP voters are less likely to forgive those: just 35% of them say they would consider voting for a candidate who was accused of sexual harassment.

But Cain leaves the race with a significant amount of positive GOP belief that he is a straightforward person. 65% of Republican primary voters say Cain general says what he thinks, and not what people want to hear. 

Photo source: Press Association

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.

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