December 22nd, 2008
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll finds public split on Obama aides' contacts with Blagojevich

The public is split on whether or not Obama's team acted improperly in the Blagojevich scandal.
The public is split on whether or not Obama's team acted improperly in the Blagojevich scandal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates Americans are split on whether aides to President-elect Barack Obama did something inappropriate in their contacts with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Twelve percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Monday say Obama aides did something illegal, with another 36 percent feeling Obama aides didn't act illegally but did do something unethical. Forty-three percent say no Obama aides did anything seriously wrong.

Blagojevich was arrested December 9 by the FBI on charges of corruption. Among the allegations is that the Illinois governor tried to sell or trade the Senate seat Obama vacated after he won the presidential election. It is the sole authority of the Illinois governor to name a successor who would serve the remaining two years of Obama's term.

Two transition aides told CNN that the Obama team will release a report Tuesday detailing contact between the president-elect's staff and Blagojevich and his advisers. The results of the internal investigation will list one
conversation between Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, and Blagojevich, news reports say. Sources have told CNN that Emanuel has not been implicated in the case. The U.S. attorney in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, has said that Obama was not a target of the investigation.

"Obviously, those figures reflect the views of Americans before they have heard the report from the Obama camp on this topic. It is likely that those numbers may change once that report has been released and digested by the public," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The 76-page criminal complaint released on December 9, the day Blagojevich was arrested, includes snippets of intercepted phone calls involving the governor alleged efforts to benefit from the Senate vacancy. On
Friday, Blagojevich said he is not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing and has no plans to resign.

"Not surprisingly, there is a big partisan difference on this question," Holland said. "Fifty-nine percent of Democrats think that Obama aides did nothing wrong. Three-quarters of Republicans think that Obama officials did something illegal or unethical."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Obama transition • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. J UAN CARLOS

    MORE,,,,,,,,,,,STEINHAUSER,,,,,,,,,POLLS,,,,,,,,,WITH,,,,,,,,,HIS,,,,,,,,,,,

    SPIN,,,,,,,,,,,SOLD,,,,,,,,,,AS,,,,,,,,,,,FACTS

    December 22, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. Pat

    Alice Newman Center Harbor NH December 22nd, 2008 3:48 pm ET
    . . . As for Campbell Brown? . . . she lost her journalistic neutrality a long time ago: . . .
    --------------
    You mean because she now has the "audacity" to be "critical" of Obama occasionally - don't you? Of course, you do! How DARE anyone do that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. MikeH

    CNN sits in the lap of Republican filth.

    I see 79% saying the Obama organization did nothing wrong. I see CNN trying to twist the poll to make stuff up.

    CNN does the bidding of hateful right wing extremists who use their wealth, plundered and looted from America, to buy CNN pseudo-journalism.

    CNN is becoming part of the problem.

    December 22, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. dan

    Fitzgerald stood in front of the cameras and read transcripts where Blago was cursing Obama because the Obama team had recommended a candidate (Candidate #1), but wouldn't give Blago anything for appointing this candidate. It is not illegal to recommend a candidate. By Blago's own words, the Obama team offered nothing. There is no story, unless you are one of the conspiracy nuts in this country who thinks there is an ulterior motive to everything that happens in this country.

    December 22, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Randy

    Looks like old Rob might be bedding with George Ryan just two good old boys.

    December 22, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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