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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Poll: Most believe media should lay off Broaddrick allegation

By Keating Holland/CNN

March 1, 1999
Web posted at: 5:00 p.m. EST (2200 GMT)

WASHINGTON (March 1) -- About a third of all Americans believe that Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that Bill Clinton raped her in 1978 is definitely true or probably true, and two-thirds of the public thinks that the media should stop pursuing the story, a new CNN/USA Today/ Gallup Poll shows.

Fourteen percent, according to the survey, are convinced that Broaddrick's charge that Clinton raped her is definitely not true, while another 40 percent say that the charge is probably not true.

Most Americans do not believe that Broaddrick has gone public with her allegations to harm Clinton for political reasons. How has the charge affected the public's view of Clinton? Only 32 percent have a positive opinion of him as a person, but that is down only 3 points (within the margin of sampling error) from two weeks ago.

So NBC's airing of the Broaddrick interview last week did not produce a statistically significant change in the public's view of Clinton. His approval rating, now at 66 percent, has also not suffered a significant decline in the wake of the Broaddrick charges, the poll indicated.

The survey of 1,013 adult Americans was conducted February 26-28, and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Here are the questions and results:

Do you think Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that Bill Clinton raped her in 1978 is definitely true, probably true, probably not true, or definitely not true?

Definitely true5%
Probably true29
Probably not true40
Definitely not true14

Thinking about Juanita Broaddrick's allegation against President Clinton, which of the following statements do you agree with more: This is an important matter that the press should continue to cover and investigate, or this matter is no big deal and the press should stop pursuing this story.

Press should stop pursuing this story66%
Press should continue to cover this story29

Why do you think Juanita Broaddrick has gone public with her allegations against Bill Clinton -- mostly to harm Clinton for political reasons, or mostly to get her story out for personal reasons?

Harm Clinton31%
Personal reasons55

Thinking about Bill Clinton as a person, do you have a positive or negative opinion of him?

 NowFeb. 12-13

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as president?

 NowFeb. 12-13

Investigating the President


Monday, March 1, 1999

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