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Growing Number Say DeLay Charges Politically Motivated

Survey of 1,000 Adults

September 28-29, 2005

Charges Against

Tom DeLay

  Weds Thurs
Based Upon Facts 43% 37%
Politically Motivated 31% 39%


Tom DeLay

Favorable 17%
Unfavorable 38%



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.

On Wednesday 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.

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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 party affiliation.

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 by 25%.

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 project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

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 confidence.

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