About a year after the #MeToo movement gained widespread attention following publication of accusations of sexual assault against former Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, about two-thirds of Americans (65%) say sexual harassment is an extremely or very serious problem in the country today, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
CNN's October Poll
That’s about the same as it was in December of last year, when 68% called it a deeply serious problem. Women are more likely to see sexual harassment as a problem than men, 71% of women say so versus 58% of men (that’s down five points for men since last December, while among women, there’s been just a two-point shift).
Democrats see such harassment as a more serious problem than Republicans, with 87% of Democrats calling it very serious, compared with 49% of Republicans.
Concern over the issue is double what it was 20 years ago. The question was also asked in 1998, around the time of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. At the time, a third of Americans said sexual harassment was a serious problem in the country and only 9% thought it was deeply serious.
This year the issue of sexual assault has become a campaign issue after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice despite allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.
President Donald Trump has called the #MeToo era a “scary time” for young men and warned supporters that their husbands or sons could be falsely accused. First lady Melania Trump told ABC News that while harassment is a problem, women need evidence if they say they’re victims.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS October 4-7 among a random national sample of 1,009 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.