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Most Voters Aren’t Swayed by Stormy Daniels’ Claims

Thursday, March 29, 2018

CBS-TV’s long-running “60 Minutes” series scored its highest-ever ratings Sunday night with its interview of porn star Stormy Daniels who claims she had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump 12 years ago. But most voters don’t attach much importance to her claims now that Trump is president of the United States.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters closely followed news reports about the Daniels interview, with 21% who followed those reports Very Closely. Forty-five percent (45%) didn’t pay close attention to the “60 Minutes” interview, including another 21% who didn’t follow news reports about it at all. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But only 39% attach any importance to the Daniels interview when it comes to their perceptions of the president and the job he is doing. Fifty-six percent (56%) don’t. This includes 17% who say the interview is Very Important to their perceptions of Trump and 34% who say it’s Not At All Important.

Perhaps in part that’s because a new high of 52% believe when most reporters write or talk about Trump, they are trying to block him from passing his agenda.  By contrast, 48% said most reporters were trying to help President Obama pass his agenda in the second year of his presidency.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 27-28, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, 57% of voters said the allegations of sexual harassment made against Trump by several women were important to their vote, but only 12% said the allegations changed their decision on which candidate to vote for

Just over half of both men and women closely followed news reports about the “60 Minutes” interview, but most in both groups also agree that it isn’t important to their perceptions of Trump and the job he is doing. Those under 40 are more likely than their elders to have followed reports about the interview; middle-aged voters attach the least importance to it.

Democrats (74%) are far more likely than Republicans (41%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (43%) to have followed news reports about the Daniels interview. Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters in the opposition party say the interview has colored their perceptions of the GOP president, but just 23% of Republicans and 26% of unaffiliateds agree.

Among voters who followed news reports about the interview Very Closely, 76% rate it important to their perceptions of Trump, with 51% who say it’s Very Important.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of those who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing dismiss the Daniels interview as unimportant. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance, 61% say it’s important to their views of him.

Most Democrats and unaffiliated voters said in December that Congress should open an investigation into the sexual harassment complaints made against the president and that he should resign if they are proven true. Few Republicans agree.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all voters now believe the allegations by several women who claim former President Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them. Just 13% don’t believe the allegations, while 28% are undecided. Clinton was only the second president in history to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, in his case for perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation of his sexual relationship with a White House intern. But congressional Democrats rallied to prevent his removal from office.

The wave of sexual harassment allegations which started last year with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein also have included high-profile names in the news media. But 59% of Americans think it’s likely most of those in the media who have lost their jobs over allegations of sexual harassment will resume their careers within the next three to five years. 

Nearly half of Democrats think there’s a good chance Trump will be impeached and won’t make it to the end of his first term in office, but two-out-of-three Republicans see four more years in his future.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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