Poll: Clinton Approval Rating Up Despite Allegations
(AllPolitics, March 16) -- President Bill Clinton's approval rating has increased over the past week despite allegations by ex-White House volunteer Kathleen Willey that Clinton groped her during a private White House encounter, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows.
However, the 651 adult Americans polled on Monday were divided over whether to believe the president or his accuser.
Asked if they approved or disapproved of the way Clinton is handling his job as president, 67 percent said they approved of Clinton's job performance -- up four percentage points from last week. Twenty-nine percent said they disapproved, compared to 31 percent last week.
However, when asked their overall opinion of Clinton as a person, 60 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the president, down slightly from 64 percent last month.
Thirty-seven percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the president.
The poll carried some potentially bad news for the president if Willey's allegations hold true. Nearly two-thirds of those polled -- 63 percent -- said they believed Clinton's actions, if true, were an act of sexual harassment.
And when asked who they tended to believe more, 43 percent sided with Willey, compared to 40 percent who sided with the president.
The poll carried a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Both the president and Willey have provided sworn testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case about the disputed November 1993 encounter. Willey has said Clinton kissed her on the lips, touched her breast and placed her hand on his genitals.
The president has forcefully denied the allegations.