December 24th, 2008
09:02 AM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: Blagojevich named naughtiest pol of 2008

Blagojevich, facing record low approval ratings in Illinois, tops at least one political poll this month.
Blagojevich, facing record low approval ratings in Illinois, tops at least one political poll this month.

(CNN) – Which politician should be top Santa's naughty list this year? If the American public had anything to say about it, Rod Blagojevich would beat out John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer for the title of the naughtiest politician of 2008.

Asked which political figure deserved a lump of coal this Christmas, the scandal-scarred Blagojevich was picked by more Americans than the other two candidates combined.

Nineteen percent thought that Edwards, who admitted cheating on his wife during his presidential bid, was the naughtiest. And 23 percent thought that Spitzer, who resigned as New York's government amid a call-girl scandal, should get the nod.

But 56 percent said that Blagojevich, who has been arrested on corruption charges, was the naughtiest pol in 2008.

Some of that may be due to the fact that Blagojevich's arrest happened more recently than the transgressions of Spitzer or Edwards, but there's likely another reason at work as well: Americans typically take a much dimmer view of corruption than of sex scandals, since the former is a violation of the public trust and the latter is usually considered more of a private matter.

The results are based on interviews with 1,013 adult Americans conducted by telephone on December 19-21, 2008. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Eliot Spitzer • John Edwards • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    I think corruption and idiocy is a non-partisan issue. The former governor of Illinois, George Ryan, let us remember, is serving prison time for his corrupt ways. Unlike, Blagojevich, he is a Republican. Feel free to add the former Alaskan senator, Ted Stevens...the list goes on. But that's what happens when people vote for populist politicians. What did they expect?

    December 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Bless their hearts

    All Democrats...

    December 24, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Cori from Colorado

    Only coal in your stocking this year Blago! Santa is skipping your house, you've been bad.

    December 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Mike in NY

    None of these politicians stole two elections, got 4000 US soldiers killed, over 200,000 citizens of another country killed and turned the Constitution into a piece of scrap paper, all in the name of fighting the wrong enemy. The naughtiest is still GWB and Tricky dick, with co-conspirator Pelosi runnig third, since she refused to allow impeachment proceedings.

    December 24, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. SD

    Hey Steven, what's that you were saying about "democrat democrat democrat"?

    How about that guy in Alaska last month who resigned over taking thousands of dollars in unreported gifts?

    Wasn't he a.......here it comes........omigosh!!!! a REPUBLICAN?!?!!??!?!

    December 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Laura

    I bet right about now John Edwards is very happy that there is a Blagojevich scandal and that he is an also-ran for this dubious distinction

    December 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Two Thousand and Nine

    Who will be the naughtiest in 2009, Barack Obama or any of those working for him, it is boiled down to imperfect and sinful human nature, corruption, greed, selfishness, impurity and arrogance, and the temptation of the world??

    December 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    While Blago was naughty for sure, it's a stretch to call him the naughtiest. How about Ted Stevens....he was actually convicted? Or how about John McCain, for allowing his campaign to go the low road in his quest for the presidency? Better yet, how about George Bush for allowing the nation's economy to totally tank prior to leaving office? Or Dick Cheney for coming out in favor of torture? Yes, Blago was a bad boy, but he doesn't rise to the level of the rest of them mentioned here.

    December 24, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Tony

    Well the charges pending are reprehensible. I'd like to think that the FBI actually has a case after all this. If so, let the chips fall as they may. Another Sara Palin. Until this, I'd never heard of him. ( I don't live in Illinois).

    Best political news of 2008 is the departure of Dubya. Nothing else can beat that.

    December 24, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. brett

    obama is next

    December 24, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Rocky Rand

    I think Blogo simply took a page from the Repugnant Party playbook. Nothing like some arrogance to accompany corruption, eh? The Bush party has set the tone for others... but what will we tell our children? Lies are OK as long as there's a ton of money to be made?

    December 24, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Chuck

    I would nominate Alberto Gonzolez:for politicizing his office (firing of DA's), blatantly lying of it to congress and for failing to provide President Bush competent, rigorously applied legal advice regarding enhance interrogation techniques. He did more damage to the constitution and our trust in government institutions than any of the top three nominees.

    December 24, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. TooDarkMark

    The reason they are all Democrats is because everyone knows Republicans are natural born criminals.

    Republican David Vitter is on a list of a Madam, admits to transgressions, but stays in power. Spitzer has to step down.

    Ted Stevens gets caught taking bribes, is CONVICTED, and almost wins his Senate seat again. No one mentions a connection to Palin. Blog gets caught TALKING about it, and suddenly the media can't stop talking about a possible Obama connection.

    Palin is found abusing her powers by a bipartisan committee. She used travel money to STAY HOME instead of serve in the capitol.

    The theme is that conservatives support criminals, while liberals hold their leaders up to a higher standard. Many Republicans and conservatives live daily by a double standard, and they're too blind to see it.

    December 24, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Joe Hussein McCain

    Obama will never out Dumb Bush!

    December 24, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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