June 22nd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Ensign's numbers plunge after admitting affair

 A new poll is out with favorable rating for Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign.
A new poll is out with favorable rating for Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign.

(CNN) - A new poll of Nevada voters suggests that Senator John Ensign's favorable rating among people in his home state is plunging since he admitted to an extramarital affair.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned in a Las Vegas Review-Journal survey conducted by Mason Dixon Polling and Research Inc. have a positive view of Ensign. That's down 14 points from a month ago. Thirty-seven percent say they regard Ensign unfavorably, up 19 points from May.

But the poll suggests that 62 percent do not think Ensign should resign from the Senate over his admission of infidelity, with 29 percent saying he should step down.

The poll was conducted Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday Ensign announced the nine month long affair with a married campaign staffer. The senator says he and his wife have reconciled.

Ensign is not up for re-election until 2012.

"His numbers have obviously dropped. He's obviously suffered damage because of this," says Mason-Dixon Managing Partner Brad Coker says in the Las Vegas Review Journal. "But it could be a lot worse for Ensign. The really significant question is that only 29 percent think he should resign right away. He does have the ability to stay on and turn this around."

The survey indicates that only 17 percent of Republicans want Ensign to step down. That number jumps to 40 percent among Democrats. One in four men think Ensign should resign. That rises to one in three women.

The two-term senator was considered a rising star within the Republican party. Earlier this month he spoke to a conservative group in Iowa, sparking speculation that he was considering a stab at the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. A day after admitting to an extramarital affair, Ensign resigned his position as head of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking elected leadership position among Senate Republicans.

The poll suggests that even after dropping 14 points, Ensign's favorable rating is slightly higher than that of Nevada's senior senator, Democrat Harry Reid. Thirty-four percent of those questioned in the survey had a favorable view of the Senate Majority Leader. Only one in ten had a positive view of the state's extremely unpopular governor, Republican Jim Gibbons.

The Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc. survey was conducted Thursday and Friday, with 625 Nevada voters questioned by telephone. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: John Ensign • Polls • Popular Posts
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Pamela McGregor

    Of course, this is not a good story for Fox News Network. The Fox was caught in the hen house, literally and figuratively. According to the Washington Post, the husband of the lady, a former aide, contacted Fox. Of course, Fox wanted to do some background checking and oops! Ensign prempted them.
    Fox was also bruised by the Palins. Greta Van S went to Alaska and portrayed Bristol and her then-fiance as a couple devoted to be married and it was not so.
    So much for fair and balanced!
    News organizations, including CNN, should seriously examine their roles and become the media, rather the interpreters of news. There are few real anchors left. Read the news, leave the public to interpret and make their own judgement.

    June 22, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Billy J in Texas

    It's the hypocrisy, stupid!

    June 22, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Oregon calling

    Anything to do with honor and marriage, the Senator should recuse himself from. I do hope that the good people of Nevada will vote for what is best for the country this next election.

    Peace :-)

    June 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Marina

    If you can lie to the ones you love, you can lie to anyone. And if you can lie to anyone, you are not trustworthy. If you are not trustworthy, then you do not deserve to represent the people.

    June 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. George

    Affairs and Cheating by John Ensign, Bill Clinton, John Edwards

    --------is not a Criminal act--------

    Lying by Bush and Cheney about WMDs of Iraq and Misleading Americans into the War, resulting in Deaths of 4300 US Troops.

    --------is a Criminal act---------–

    BUSH AND CHENEY BE PROSECUTED AND TRIED

    June 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Post always rejected by CNN

    Clinton was not convicted of anything in a court of law. If you are going to post these facts get them straight. But then republicans don't care about facts it's all spin and whine.

    The only people who ruled against President Clinton was the overwhelming republican majority who had already spend 20 million dollars checking and rechecking and digging and trying to find dirt. If this had been a republican president nothing would have happened.

    This won't be posted as usual, but bush had a lawsuit filed against him for sexual stalking and harrassment....by a Margie somebody. Her husband was beaten up, and told to make his wife drop the suit. And then two months later she conventently committed suicide. Altho the gun was never found.

    June 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Billy J in Texas

    It is the hypocrisy that makes this guy and so many other GOP's along with a few Dems look so pathetic. They not only tarnish their respective parties but our political system (including 'independent' players like the media). It is hard to get behind folks who fake outrage at gays and adulterers, when they themselves are the seediest variety of said sinners. (anonomous gay bathroom sex, sex with your employee's wife)

    There is no shortage of hypocrisy in the Democratic party, but at the moment the Republicans are taking the cake. They need to dump a lot of baggage. I suggest this guy and Boehner to start. Maybe the Dems could cut a deal let Nancy and Harry go too. It would probably be best for both parties if they did.

    June 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. jp

    Typical politician! Here he sat for years condemning those who had affairs and pointed the finger while he was doing the same thing! He called for Clinton's impeachment and removal when that affair became public his his should remain a "private family issue"? He ran for office as a "moral" leader! He should be thrown out simply because he is a hypocrite and has no base for trust! Why do so many Republicans pretend to be so moral and then have a complete different set of rules for themselves!? I say "throw him to the dogs!"

    June 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Mama_Bear

    This is not his first affair. He and the rest of the bogus, GOP jehovacats (Drug Rush, Bill O'Really, etc.) are the Democrats' best weapons. Go figure. . .

    June 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. George

    When:>>>>>>
    1. John Ensign
    2. Bill Clinton
    3. John Edwards

    Lied / Cheated, did not harm anybody.

    When:>>>>>>
    1. Bush
    2. Cheney.

    Lied about WMDs of Iraq, 4300 US Troop Died, 45000 US Troop injured, and 100,000 Iraqis Died.

    CRIMINAL BUSH AN CHENEY, BE PROSECUTED and PUT TO TRIAL

    June 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. PHILIP BIEN AIME

    the most conservative voice SENATOR in the REPUBICAN PARTY is the most LIBERAL in action

    June 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. jp

    I'm sorry, but you can't believe anything that comes from "Fixed" News. It might as well be 1939 Nazi Germany and it's propaganda machine at work!

    June 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. southerncousin

    Excuse me I must have stumbled in to the National Enquirer website. Intersting that this trivia has drawn more responses from the dope smokin' libs than the fact NKorea is getting ready to shoot nukes at Hawaii and the struggles of the Iranians for human rights. I guess the democrats are the National Enquirer groupie party.

    June 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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