Al Franken is pictured. | AP Photo

The poll was conducted after radio personality Leeann Tweeden alleged that Al Franken groped her in 2006, prior to his Senate tenure — but before Lindsay Menz said that Franken touched her inappropriately while he was a senator in 2010. | Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Poll: Half think Franken should resign

A majority of voters think the Senate Ethics Committee should investigate Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), and half think Franken should resign from the Senate, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

The poll was conducted after radio personality Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken groped her in 2006, prior to his Senate tenure — but before a second woman, Lindsay Menz, said that Franken touched her inappropriately while he was a senator in 2010. Still, 66 percent of voters said the ethics panel should probe Franken’s conduct, while only 15 percent think the committee should not look into the matter.

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Fully 50 percent of voters think Franken, who has served in the Senate since 2009, should resign, and 22 percent think he should not resign.

The Franken results, though, underscore a partisan divide in how voters view allegations of sexual misconduct against political figures. Democratic voters are more likely to find allegations against Democrats credible and endorse significant punishments than Republican voters are when it comes to allegations against GOP lawmakers and candidates.

When it comes to Franken, the partisan gap is narrow: Forty-nine percent of Democrats think he should resign, along with 56 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents.

Contrast Franken with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, however. A 57 percent majority of voters say the Senate should expel Moore if he wins the Dec. 12 special election, but the percentage of Democrats who want Moore expelled (73 percent) is significantly greater than the percentage of Republicans (46 percent) who think he should be kicked out of the Senate.

There are also small differences by party in voter perceptions of the charges of sexual misconduct by former President Bill Clinton. Similar percentages of Democrats (65 percent), Republicans (69 percent) and independents (63 percent) find those allegations to be credible.

But compare that with the allegations against President Donald Trump. "Our polling reveals a stark contrast in how Democrats and Republicans view allegations against politicians from their respective political parties,” said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “For example, while 69 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats say the sexual assault allegations against Clinton are credible, only 37 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats say the same about allegations made against Trump."

Much of the recent attention on sexual harassment has focused on the entertainment industry and politics, and the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows voters think harassment is a significant problem in both worlds. A 59 percent majority of voters say sexual harassment and misconduct is a big problem in Hollywood, and 43 percent say it’s a big problem in the federal government and Washington.

Smaller percentages say sexual harassment is a big problem in other industries and levels of government, including the news media (36 percent), state governments (31 percent), the finance industry (29 percent), local governments (28 percent) and the tech industry (27 percent).

Asked about their own workplace, 16 percent of voters say sexual harassment is a big problem: Twenty-one percent of men, and 12 percent of women.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted Nov. 16-19, surveying 2,586 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: http://politi.co/2jJyZnX | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2jglVT4