June 30th, 2009
03:35 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans think Sanford should resign

 A new CNN poll reveals that 54 percent of Americans believe S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford should resign.
A new CNN poll reveals that 54 percent of Americans believe S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford should resign.

(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that a majority of Americans think South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford should resign from office.

Sanford has admitted to a year long extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. Last Wednesday the governor also acknowledged he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period when his location was not known.

Fifty-four percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday think Sanford should step down, with 44 percent saying he should continue to serve as South Carolina governor. Sanford has a year and a half left in his second term as governor. He's term limited and can't run for re-election.

"There is virtually no difference between Republicans and Democrats on this matter," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fifty-one percent of Democrats and 54 percent of Republicans want Sanford to step down."

Sanford is now admitting that he met with his mistress more times than he originally admitted, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer confirmed Tuesday. Last week Sanford said he had seen his mistress three times in the past year. But he told The Associated Press he had met with Maria Belen Chapur seven times, including five visits in the past 12 months.

Despite calls from some South Carolina lawmakers and politicians for the governor to resign, as of Tuesday morning Sanford appeared to be standing firm.

Six out of ten people questioned say it's important for voters to know if a politician has committed adultery, with 37 percent saying such knowledge is not important.

But the poll indicates that the public is split over whether adultery indicates that a person does or does not have the integrity to hold high public office.

"Fifty percent think adultery matters; 49 percent do not," Holland notes. "That's a big change from January of 1999, when three-quarters believed that adultery did not mean a person should not serve in public office. Of course, back then a Democratic president was being impeached in a case that involved an extramarital affair. Today Americans don't have to consider their views of the Clinton impeachment when they think about matters like this.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN Polls • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. J.Crobuzon

    Step down; your career is over. Your boys think of you as The Antichrist, and your wife is going to take every cent you have. You are making South Carolinians look like rubes, and even giving Argentina a bad name.

    Do I have to draw you a picture? OK, this is you, right? And this is South Carolina, right? And this is your job, right, the big carrot-shaped thing. Now, imagine South Carolina were to take your job and shove it, right up your- oh, you get the picture? Resign soon, dimwit, and go off to be with your One True Love.

    June 30, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I don't care if he was in Argentina going to church, you don't abandon your job for 5 days! if you are a governor of a state people need to be able to get a hold of you in case there is an emergency.

    June 30, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Don

    Make me one of them...and I am from SC. Sanford is a disgrace and even before this a sorry Governor. The State Paper today said Sanford should stay...excuse me...but this from the same paper that kept his affair under wraps for 6 months. We in SC know what side thois paper is on and its not the people.

    June 30, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Shucks

    He should not resign because of his affair. He should resign for lying and decieving his staff and constituents and his derilection of his duties as Governor.

    June 30, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Democrat ( AKA Free Thinker )

    Stay or go either way is win-win for dems, and he brought this upon himself by CHAMPIONING MORALITY while cheating on his wife, and then asking her if he could continue to see her, talk about IMMORAL.

    June 30, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. SCboy

    Sneaky Sanford, where'd he go? Took state money had to blow, out of country with his ho!

    June 30, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Enough

    Another CNN poll. The same polls that say Obama is doing a great job?? Consider the source!

    June 30, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Republicans are the American Taliban

    I wonder why it was so important for Governor Sanford to be with his mistress on Fathers Day??

    June 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Brooke in PA

    It doesn't matter what the American people want. It's up to the people of South Carolina. What a stupid poll.

    June 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. jo

    No body perfect

    June 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Joe C

    It's time to step down – the guy is becoming an embarrassment.

    June 30, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. xxx

    If this guy is GOP yes!!!! get out you dirty, dishonest GOP!!! GOP IS DONE!!!!

    June 30, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. mary

    I think the public should separate the extra marital affair from the governor's dereliction of duty. What he does with the Argentine woman is his private affair. What he uses state money for is another issue (remember Gov Spitzer?). He He also didn't care about his office and for that reason he should be kicked out (if he doesn't want to resign).

    June 30, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Bill in California

    WHAT HE SHOULD BE DOING is shaking his finger at the camera and saying "I did not have sex with that woman, Maria Chapur" then he'd get a free ride to the end of his term.

    June 30, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. johnnie

    why is that such a news flash ,south caro is thru with him the most ,the fool of stimulus and commander and cheat,that is why what he said about bill clinton,is coming to bite him in his argentina tail.

    June 30, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Player Player

    Governer Sanford crashed in burned in a field of panti...s. He did not want to be rescused except of course by the all the ladies. It's hard to resist temptation, right Governor?

    June 30, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. MikeH

    Word is, Sanford had involvement with other women, the Republican sleaze bucket seems to be very deep.

    TCM and MathewDetroit are the same person, a paid Republican operative. CNN affords this individual much more access to the ticker to spread Republican lies and disinformation.

    I wonder how Mathew/TCM is going to spin Sanford's abandoning his state for several days, using state money to pay for a mistress, etc.

    June 30, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. I give up

    Mark, as a republican, please resign, be quiet and go away. you are an embarrasement.

    June 30, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. mk

    He now say's he has had 6 "daliances" (or however you spell it) with other women. I would say that those 6 other women at least were spared having their lives ruined by this egomaniac. He not only needs to resign, he needs a long, cold shower and a good dose of humility. He should be recalled from office as soon as possible.

    June 30, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Zero.

    Soal Mate? While he walks over his family in his jack-boots..

    June 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. johnny

    @ Dave June 30th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

    Does it matter what "Americans" want? No, it only matters about South Carolina. If these polls actually meant something, then we wouldn't passed the Stimulus, the Cap & Trade (in the house), the Tarps or be pursuing socialized medicine….
    ______________________________________________________

    It absolutely matters what "Americans" want. We had the biggest poll of all of them last November. This IS what most Americans want. I couldn't care less what happens in SC in general. I mean I feel for the people there having to suffer this fool for a single minute longer, but if they are willing to put up with him, then I can't do a thing. It seems like a great deal of them want to see him resign, and he should, because it is the will of the people. If he wants to maintain any dignity at all, then he would abide by that.

    June 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Jaime

    Now it makes sense why he did not want to accept the stimulus money. He was getting his own stimulus in Argentina.

    June 30, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. David

    South Carolina needs to make that call. I think Obama should resign,but that's may opinon.

    June 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Mike Moderate

    Let him stay! It only helps the Demodrats and the left.

    Why is somebody like Pat Robertson so queit about this ???

    When is Sanford going to apologize to Bill Clinton for dogging him for the same mistake?

    typical GOP hypocrisy!!!

    June 30, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I want his resignation on the Lt. Governor's desk by the end of the day.

    June 30, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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