According to a survey by Rasmussen Reports, 55 percent of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat who has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women, should resign if the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him are true. Of those Americans polled, 27 percent disagree, while 17 percent are undecided.
Among Democrats, 45 percent believe that Franken should resign if the allegations are true, as opposed to 37 who think he should remain in office. Among Republicans, 69 percent say he should go, while among the unaffiliated only 52 percent believe he should quit.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of the former Saturday Night Live writer and performer who was elected to the Senate in 2008, although that includes only 11 percent with a Very Favorable one. Forty-two percent (42%) view Franken unfavorably, with 25% who hold a Very Unfavorable opinion of him. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided.
According to a spokesman for Franken's office, the senator refuses to resign. On Thanksgiving, according to the spokesman, Franken will be "reflecting" on the accusations in the company of his family on Thanksgiving Day.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 19-20 by Rasmussen Reports, and has a sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Two important constituencies of the Democratic Party – women and those under 40 – feel more strongly than men and older voters that Franken should resign if the charges against him are true. Men and voters 40 and older still view Franken more unfavorably, however. Fifty-four percent (54%) of liberals hold a favorable regard for Franken, compared to 23% of conservatives and 45% of liberals.
According to Rasmussen, most Americans see sexual harassment in the workplace as a serious problem, and nearly half have experienced it themselves or know someone who has. Among women, that number climbs to 56 percent.
Looking to the past, 69 percent of those polled in 2015 believed that the sexual affair involving Bill Clinton and White House aide Monica Lewinsky was consensual. Clinton was 49 at the time, and Lewinsky was 22. Twenty-two percent (22%) believed Lewinsky was the victim of an older, more powerful man.