If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Voters Say Franken Should Resign If Charges True

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Most voters say it’s time for Senator Al Franken to go if his accusers are right.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey shows that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the Minnesota Democrat should resign from the Senate if the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him prove to be true. Just 27% disagree, while 17% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even his fellow Democrats by a 45% to 37% margin think Franken should resign if the allegations are true. But that compares to 69% of Republicans and 52% of voters not affiliated with either major political party who believe Franken should quit.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of all voters share a favorable opinion of the former Saturday Night Live writer who was elected to the Senate in 2008, although that includes only 11% 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.

Franken has apologized to a broadcaster who accused him of forcibly kissing her and taking a photo in which he appears to touch her chest while she is asleep. A second accuser has now come forward.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 19-20, 2017 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.

Republicans aren't sure whether the Senate GOP leadership should try to deny Roy Moore his seat if the embattled Senate candidate wins election next month. Moore faces multiple allegations of harassing young women.

Only 18% of Democrats have a Very Favorable opinion of Franken, a view shared by six percent (6%) of GOP voters and eight percent (8%) of unaffiliateds.

Interestingly, two key Democratic constituencies – 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 moderates.

Among voters with a Very Favorable opinion of Franken, only 27% believe he should resign even if the allegations against him are true.

Amid growing allegations and criminal sexual assault charges against many public figures, 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%.

Just prior to his election, only 12% of voters said the allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women against then-presidential nominee Donald Trump changed their decision on which presidential candidate to vote for.

Looking back in 2015 on Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who infamously had an affair with President Bill Clinton, 69% now believe the 22-year-old’s relationship with the 49-year-old president was a consensual one between two adults. Just 22% believe Lewinsky was the victim of an older, more powerful man.

Only six percent (6%) of Democrats said in February that Franken should be their party’s nominee in 2020, putting him sixth on a list of six prominent party players who said they were considering a presidential run.

Thinking ahead to next year’s midterm elections, voters are leaning towards returning the Democrats to control of the entire Congress for the first time since early 2011.

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

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.  Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.