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. Andy

    Obama didn't know Rev. Wright said racist things in church services.
    Obama didn't know Ayers was an unrepentent terrorist.
    Obama didn't know his auntie was an illegal alien living on welfare.
    Obama didn't know Chicago politics were dirty.
    Obama voted "present" dozens of times in the Illinois legislature.

    Obama is the smartest dude to come out of Harvard.....right.

    December 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. rick

    "obama did no wrong. and never will"

    oh man, what ignorance. obama is capable of doing wrong just like anyone else. dont be so stupid.

    anyone who thinks this is not news should reconsider. i know you would rather see news on obamas puppy's choice.

    yes, it is possible for obama and his aides to act inapproriately. he's not a saint. and i voted for him, but im not stupid and naive.

    December 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Truth Hurts

    Most hosts on CNN are undercover right wingnuts!!

    December 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. PL

    Who cares if there was contact or not. Obama or his team have not tried to sell or buy a senate seat. Republicans there is nothing there move on.

    December 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Laverne

    Ah Kristi: It has to be proved you did something wrong before you can be impeached, you silly girl!

    December 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Shayne

    Who cares? The right has been and will continue to be incessantly, constantly, and without remorse looking for nothing but errors in the Obama administration. Just like Obama used to say during the general election, "finger pointing is all you get when all you have is nothing to show for yourself."

    Good work repubs! Someone is going to come by and break your pointy fingers one of these times.

    December 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Christopher

    CNN is rapidly going downhill as a reliable and authoritative news source. It is gutterball "journalism" like this that is eroding their credibility. As others have stated, what hell do ANY of us know about the contacts with the IL Governor's office until either the Obama report is released or we hear from the Fed prosecutor's office? As Seth says in his post, the poll respondents were GUESSING! Furthermore, it is perfectly legitimate for Obama's people to have spoken with the Governor regarding a senatorial appointee. Please, CNN, just stop this cr@p.

    December 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Janice

    WOW! How is it possible to poll something for which you have no record? How can you have an opinion on something you knownothing about? How quick we're to prejudge....goodness gracious! Can we please wait for the results.

    December 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. joseph

    Based on the 76 page affidavit that was disclosed it appears that Obama's representative refused to go along with any play for pay schemed. So the good news is that the new administration is above reproach on the issue of corruption. The questions that remain to be answered are if Blagojevich was as blunt with the representative as he is on tape, did the representative take him seriously, or did he rebuff him with a response like, surely you're joking; did the representative have a duty to report the illegal overture and did he do so?

    December 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. eddie

    To be honest, most liberals have their eyes closed with Obama.
    I personally don't think he did anything illegal, but to say that he had no idea about the corruption going on Chicago is laughable. I don't personally like Palin as a politician, but she took on the corruption and won. Obama simply went along with it and didn't bat an eye.

    December 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Helen, VT

    Obama and his team are liars. They want to make some stories and general public is listening. to these lies. Media is giving free publicity. Get a life.

    December 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. EVERYMAN

    IF OBAMA KNEW ABOUT A REQUEST FOR COMPENSATION FOR HIS CHOICE FOR HIS REPLACEMENT IN THE SENATE, THEN HE IS GUILTY OF CONSIPACY, A FELONY.

    December 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Cindy

    The Faux/Conservative talk show slimers are working their magic again.. business as usual. No one in Obama's administration has been implicated. That has been clarified. Yet the conspiracy theorists continue to stoke the fires and smear. Just like the bogus Birth Certificate issue.

    I am so glad we have a President Elect with a cool head. With all the real problems we have going on in the world, we need someone like Obama who can handle the silliness thrown at him and his staff.

    December 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. I know the truth

    You dems are so blind to reality- How can one group of people be so stupid when there is so much information out there that you could be digesting? Instead you choose to engage in lies, conflict and cover-ups to keep the party alive. We do not need you in the public eye! Obama is a crook- he cut his teeth in Chicago and if any of you knew anything or researched anything you would understand that in order to hold a job of any value in IL, you must be involved with the Super-Thug they call their governor. It is modern day mobsters running the show. The GOV, the UAW and the politicians that come along in their back pockets- Get a grip on reality people!!! They are crooks and thugs and you want them running this nation- Talk about ignorant and irresponsible- WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. dave

    one thing to consider here is this is a CNN poll. i'm thinking they would call blue states instead of red states.

    December 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. rick

    since when is reporting the news "disgusting"?

    please!

    December 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Obamanation

    You wait and see....Obama is just as corrupt as most politicians. He is smarter, but just as corrupt. He had Emanuel do the dirty work, but he was involved in wheeling and dealing for the Senate seat. This is the way of the political world! Sure, he was smart; he had Emanuel as the face of the negotiation, but he is just as slimey as the rest of the politicians. You people that think Jesus Christ has arrived (sobbing in Grant Park at the rally), and that he will change anything, YOU HAVE BEEN DUPPED!! WAKE UP!

    December 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Larry from RI

    Hey CNN – how does the lack of facts, opinion polls of an uninformed public and a lack of journalistic integrity trump the US legal system?

    Never let facts get in the way of a so-called news story!

    December 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    HUH??? The public dosn't even know anything yet. Any numbskull can reasonably understand that as the then sitting senator and his staff had some kind of contact with the Gov. It's completely within reason, so why the "story"?

    December 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Independent

    CNN, Don't name your news net work as "NO BIAS, NO BULL" after
    being named as Obama network since the Presidential race begun.

    Disgusting!

    December 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. I'm Not Missing The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Hmmm ... Maybe because the media is trying to overcompensate and create controversy and scandal where the isn't any. If they had only been this alert and curious to all the blatant, real illegalities of the Bush administration instead of being complicit.

    December 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Matthew

    If this was a Republican president-elect and a Republican governor discussing a Senate seat held by a Republican, the media would have made this front-page news. There would be nothing wrong with a president-elect and his team having discussions with a governor in such an instance. The fact that Obama first declared that there had been no contact and has refused to answer questions since just makes it seem suspicious.

    December 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. gl, Pittsburgh

    Republicans will stop at nothing to tide about to any thing uneithical. So much hate from the Republcans. Main reason the end to the Repbulicans.

    December 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Billie Harger

    For cryin' out loud! Will you peoples in the media quit trying to stir up something out of nothing!!?? President elect Obama stated that neither he or his staff had any "INAPPROPRIATE" contact with the Illinois Govenor. Are you making a mountain out of the contacts everybody who wants the NY Senate seat being vacated by our next Secretary of State Clinton? The far right wing nuts at Fox Hannity Limbaugh Ingalls are going to hammer him like they did Bill Clinton from the time he won the election till the day he left 8 years later. And CNN you are not doing any better. Quit guessing at what happened and wait till there is actual news, if any, to report. I can't wait till 1-20-09 when he is sworn in and all of us will see a brand new day – here in this country and around the world. It cant come soon enough! P.S. While we are at it – overturn Prop 8!!
    Billie Harger
    Saugus CA

    December 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Kevin in Ohio

    For all those waiting for the FACTS to come out...... did you give the same patience and deference to the Bush administration? I don't think so..........

    December 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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