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Poll: Most believe Clinton practiced illegal or unethical fund-raising

October 8, 1997
Web posted at: 10:58 a.m. EDT (1458 GMT)
Which of the following statements best describes your view of President Clinton's fund-raising activities:
Clinton did something illegal 25%
He did something unethical, but nothing illegal 36%
He did nothing seriously wrong 31%
No opinion  8%
Source: CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll
Sampling error: +/- 4 percentage points

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans believe that President Clinton followed illegal or unethical practices during the 1996 presidential election fund-raising campaign, according to a new poll. And many Americans seem doubtful about whether Vice President Al Gore is honest enough to be the next president.

The nationwide CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll was taken before the discovery of new videotapes of controversial White House coffees involving Clinton and the Democratic Party, which are now a subject of Senate campaign finance hearings.

Sixty-one percent of Americans questioned in the poll believe that Clinton did something unethical or illegal during his fund-raising activities.

A sizable number of those polled also said Clinton should be investigated for giving party contributors special access to the White House.

Do you believe President Clinton engaged in the following activities, and do you believe those activities should be investigated by an independent counsel:
Activities Believe Clinton
did that
Should be investigated

Made phone calls from the White House to ask for campaign contributions 69% 46%

Gave Democratic Party contributors special access to meet him in exchange for campaign contributions 68% 58%

Allowed people to stay overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom in exchange for campaign contributions 67% 53%

Asked for campaign contributions from citizens of other countries, who are not legally allowed to contribute 56% 76%

Source: CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll
Sampling error: +/- 4 percentage points

Among those polled, Vice President Al Gore, who has been the target of Republican Party attacks over his fund-raising practices, is not seen as a very trustworthy person.

Sixty-seven percent said that he should be investigated by a special independent counsel.

And while 45 percent describe him as honest and trustworthy enough to be president, 44 percent say "no" to Gore, and 11 percent remained unsure.

The telephone survey of 872 adults was conducted last Friday-Sunday and had a sampling error of 4 percentage points.


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