June 22nd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
10 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. D. Tree

    ...as well they should, for all politicians who preach morals but practice immorality!

    June 22, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. chuck

    Another “Family Values” Republican without actual family values; I AM SCHOCKED….

    June 22, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Dave Easterwood

    Just another holier than thou hypocrital faschist.

    June 22, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Aviate

    Silly CNN. The only politicians who need to resign after having an affair are Democrats. If you're a Republican, it's just one of the expected perks of the job (Ensign, Vitter, Craig, Foley, Gingrich, Hyde the list goes on). And the best part is, even as you violate your own marriage vows, you get to lecture others on the "sanctity of marriage" and determine who can and cannot get married in this country. It's a pretty sweet gig.

    June 22, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. quarterback

    Hypocrite. Arrogant. Gone.

    June 22, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Minnesotan

    Another two-faced lying Republican. What a shocker.

    June 22, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. C Spurgeon

    Just another examp;e of a phoney hypocrite telling other people how to live their lives. He should be run out of office.

    June 22, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. SENSIBLE MIKE

    Its amazing to me that Democrats are bulletproof to affairs (Clinton, Kennedy etc etc etc), but Republicans are not. Exactly what is in that Democrat kool-aid you all drink?

    June 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. RealityKing

    After a weekend of murder in Iran, CNN leads off with a poll on a republican. Geee, could their bias protection of Obama's impotence be anymore obvious??

    June 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. southerncousin

    I realize CNN and People magazine are all owned by the same liberal media conglamorate, however, with all of the important things going on in the world this morning, this article is ridiculous. I guess the dope smokers that use CNN as their news source need something to read before Jerry Springer comes on.

    June 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Neilz

    Is this FOX or CNN?

    June 22, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. John Black Hills/SD

    Sen. Ensign is the picture of Washington DC politicians whose rules apply to everyone else, but them. A lack of discipline exposes the weakness of Americans representation in both Houses of Congress. We look more like a third world nation every time we re-elect a career politician who offers Americans more of the same old behaviors of elitism. Keep your worms in your draws unless it's with your wives.

    June 22, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Jason

    Another fallen from grace from the party of family val..., I mean the party of compassiona..., er the party of holier than th... ah heck who are they kidding.

    June 22, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Machiavelli, Baton Rouge, LA

    "Let the shoe drop"! The Republicans brandished the former Head of the World, Bill Clinton, for not being forthcoming about his relationship with Monica Lewinski. It has always been told to me, "Do not throw stones when you live in a glass house".

    June 22, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. safari

    The republican party is supposed to be leaders in Christianity. Every time you turn around, one of them is screwing someone elses wife or having an affair in the men's room
    They, like Esign, are hypocrites. .

    June 22, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Libertarian

    I think affairs and corruption are the only things in Washington that have bipartisan support. LOL

    June 22, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Neville Obama

    The voters of Nevada will decide if they want a cheater representing them. If he can still represent them effectively, it is their choice. We've hasd hundreds of cheating politicians such as JFK, Clinton, Edwards, not to mention Barney Frank running a gay brothel from his condo. They keep getting re-elected. It's not like they broke any laws such as leaving a woman to die after crashing into the ocean because you were drunk.

    June 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Ryan Indy

    Love to hear the hypocrites(DEMOCRATS) talk down to republicans and tell us how the GOP is so unethical. Democrats, the party of Billy Clinton and John Edwards, really shouldnt be giving anyone a lecture.

    June 22, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. Tommy

    I don't think the guy should resign. What happened is between him and his family. However, he really should shut up about the sanctity of marriage, not allowing gays to marry, abstinence, yada yada, on and on... It's one thing to be principled, it's another to be a principled hypocrite.

    Aim high!

    June 22, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. nom deplume, esq.

    Why is this a headline when there is so much hard political news? Could it be that the party of the perpetrator dictates coverage? When Chris Dodd was discovered to have gotten a sweetheart deal on an Irish property from a person who he helped to get a presidential pardon; and when the Administration fired, then trashed the reputation of an inspector general that dared to investigate an Obama supporter; and when one of the President's former campaign workers is put in charge of the DoJ Tax Division despite having no experience whatsoever, CNN is reporting on the poll numbers of a Senator that admitted an affair (which is almost a prerequisite for Senators, it seems). Seems CNN reports only what Gibbs tells it to report.

    June 22, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Sonny

    We now know of one thing that the party of no will say yes to.

    June 22, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Mark Garcia

    Since Obama owns part of CNN, can you be surprised by the article?

    June 22, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Post always rejected by CNN

    I haven't heard anything on the news about democrats pushing this story. Why does Geraldo start blasting all over his show that this is the democrats fault....I guess they have to blame somebody for this man's affair so the picked the democrats. Typical. Coulter was blasting and whining about it again yesterday. Is she jealous that no man looks that way.

    So I guess it was the republicans fault that Spitzer had to resign after his affair.

    June 22, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. FRANK, Las Vegas

    No one asked me or any of my friends about Ensign. He should resign, just like he requested others in similar situations to resign. Ensign is a hypocrite of the purest form. For him it's do as i say not as I do. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of his affairs, does anyone really believe there was only one?! He doesn't pay any attention to what the citizens of NV want, only what the party wants and only speaks the party line, when he's not in some hotel room in bed that is.

    Ensign, do us a favor and Please resign!

    June 22, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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