September 30, 2005--On the second evening
following the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a growing
number of Americans believe the charges against the powerful Republican
are politically motivated.
night, 43% said the charges were based upon the facts involved while 31%
said they were politically motivated.
On Thursday, following a full day of news
coverage, 37% said the charges were based upon the facts while 39% said
they were politically motivated.
The rest of the data changed little from night
to night. Seventeen percent (17%) had a favorable opinion of DeLay on both
nights. Overall, 38% had an unfavorable opinion.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Americans say that DeLay is about as ethical as most politicians.
Seven percent (7%) say he
is more ethical than most, 20% say less ethical. Those numbers are similar
to perceptions of Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
"When it comes to ethics violations, the
public continues to grade politicians on a curve," noted Scott Rasmussen,
President of Rasmussen Reports. "Sadly, allegations of misconduct and
indictments are perceived as the norm for elected officials."
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans
correctly identified DeLay as a Republican while 36% were unsure of his
Fifty percent (50%) say they are
following the DeLay story somewhat or very closely.
DeLay's favorability ratings are roughly
similar to those for other Congressional Leaders. In 2004, Democrat
Nancy Pelosi was viewed
favorably by 13% of Americans and unfavorably by 31%. At that time, Tom
Daschle was viewed favorably by 23% and unfavorably by 38%.Republican
Senate Leader Bill Frist was viewed favorably by 19% and unfavorably
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm
specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of
public opinion polling information.
Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate
polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to
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Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen
Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
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This survey of 1,000 Adults was
conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 28-29, 2005. The margin of
sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.0 percentage points with a 95% level of
confidence. For results based upon individual night's data,
the margin of sampling error is +/-
4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of