December 22nd, 2008
01:00 PM ET
6 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. Michael Osterfeld

    I love how news networks like CCN, make such a big deal constantly about Polls.."Poll says people think aids did something wrong" – Well who cares what people think. No one really knows the details, and to "Poll" on something like this is just stupid. Find something real to report on

    December 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Rick

    That 12% will turn to 100% as soon as Blago and Rezko start singing like canaries about Lord Obama's misdeeds. It's going to be a fun 4 fours....if he doesn't get the boot before that.

    December 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Alice

    How can anyone say that Obama aides did something illegal, when we do not yet know yet what they did?

    Obviously, there are disgruntled McCain/Palin supporters out there who are just waiting to find fault with Obama. . . .

    December 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Charlie in Maine

    Stop the presses. The Republicans think Obama did something wrong. I expect Fox news to lead with this but I expect more from CNN. Frankly I am dissapointed.

    Obama is the Presindent -elect his seat is vacant. Of course his people would offer advice and try to influence the decision on his replacement. How does the fact that the governor of his state is a crook? Heck the guy who has been president of my country for the past long 8 years is a crook too. That doesn't make me one.

    I can't wait for Obama to start making poliy so the right wingnuts can at least complain about something real instaed of this made-up nonsense.

    December 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Sharon

    its doesn't look good for President elect Obama, whether they discussed the vacated seat or not

    December 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. jeff

    what change can we believe in
    None, Nada, Ziltch, zero.

    December 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Seth

    "Obviously those figures reflect the views of Americans before they have heard the report for the Obama camp on this topic."

    So, why don't you label the findings properly. 12% of Americans are "guessing" that Obama did something illegal and 36% are "guessing" that they did something unethical.

    When the facts are released, not just in the Obama report, but by the judge (who has already declared that nothing improper was done by the Obama team) the we can ask the American public to judge their actions.

    If you must take a poll at this point (and I for one don't think you should), label it what is it... guesswork.

    December 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. hello

    Poll?
    what this people know when they were contacted.

    December 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. chadm

    And what makes those polled qualified to offer an opinion? Do they have access to the FBI files? This constant polling is just silly... I'm wondering if Time-Warner can justify spending money on these pointless polls while plans are in the works to lay off employees? Perhaps more resources could be spent on "news." You do remember what that is right??

    December 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Kristi

    impeach obama and let's get it over with and be done with him!

    December 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. David Sprecker

    It isn't the contact, but may be what is said, which we don't know yet. It seems to me, especially at this stage, that no one can make a comment on the appropriateness or un-appropriateness of any contacts – until the details are released.

    December 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Judith

    It is reasonable for the president to be interested in the person selected. Many people are speaking with David Patterson about the Clinton seat. Interest does not mean the president gets to pick with a promise of something for Blagojevich. Catch your breath people!

    December 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Why do the partisans rage?

    Obama did no wrong. And never will.
    As long he does what I expect.

    December 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    How can half the country be split on whether or not Obama's aides had anything to do with the Senatorial appointment when the FACTS HAVE NOT COME OUT YET?

    Gimme a break!

    December 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. James

    Some of you republicans- Oh, I'm sorry. I mean some of you Conservatives and Independents (since that seems to be the latest fad amongst your party to seem like logical, independent thinkers) need to get a grip.

    Fitzgerald has shown himself to be completely nonpartisan when it comes to following the law and letting the chips fall where they may. If there is wrong doing present, I expect him to ferret it out. Otherwise, I just hear a lot of sour grapes and impotent finger pointing and hand wringing.

    The bottom line is Obama and his STAFF told Blago to take a hike when it came to greasing his or his wife's pockets.

    He and his wife are on tape screaming f- him and his staff. He called Obama a MFer.

    You people are so blinded with dogma or racism (at times the two are extremely hard to differentiate) that it is clear you will take all of the benefit and reap the rewards of his administration but spit everytime you say his name. Pathetic. You are not a true American.

    December 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. BB

    You empty air-heads at CNN are really driving this one in the ground. Why don't you wait until there is news before you try to create the future news?

    Disgusting.

    December 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. An Obama Supporter

    And no one except for the prosecuters really know what happened so the poll, once again, is built on speculation and media spin...making it worthless....

    December 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Unshrub

    It is not surprising, after reading the commnets there are so many nuts that want Obama to fail they think everything is a conspiracy by him. There are still those who are convinced that Obama is not a US citizen.

    December 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Doubting Thomasina

    How can there be a poll regarding an opinion about something we don't even know specific details about yet? Obama's team hasn't even released their report regarding their role or any real details about the contact by his transition team with Blagojevich or any of his people. That's called speculation, not opinion. To me an opinion should be formulated based on factual information and your reaction to it.

    December 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. pascal

    put him in prison.

    December 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Chris from NY

    The media likes to sesatinalize things like this. It's like all the media outlets are turning in to tabloids as opposed to giving news. The Chigaco Sun Times was about to leak the tape to the public ever before Filtz Patrick had the chance to nail this guy. Now all media is doing is trying this case in the media before ever the Prosecutor has the chance to present his case. If the media is talking about how Bush Adminstration conducted torture and sent us to war in Iraq, they would serve American puclic better. I guess the only people interested in what Obama's Transition team did or didn't do are those who have no life but other's to talk about. The economy is bad. Find a solution to it. Surely talking about this case doesn't solve the problem America has right now.

    December 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. witt

    Just as it was in the election, about 7% difference...nothing surprising here.

    December 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. J.P.

    I'm certain this is the CHANGED we HOPED for, right?

    December 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Gallimimus

    What a surprise, splitting down political sides. These numbers are similiar to the election. I really doubt anybody in Obama's cabinet did anything wrong. Blogo is just trying to take as many people down with him as possible. What a scumbag.

    December 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Mickie

    Let's face it - the bigots are complaining about everything Obama does or does not do even before he takes office or before they have any facts. I hear cries of impeach Obama from people who didn't mind Bush/Cheney raping us for 8 years.

    December 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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