As we mentioned earlier, partisan Democrats aren't quite sure how they should react to the controversy surrounding embattled Senator Al Franken, whom two woman have accused of groping them against their will. Minnesota voters seem less conflicted on the matter. A new poll out of the state shows that fewer than one-in-four Minnesotans believe Franken should remain in office -- with the Senator's job approval rating tanking by nearly 20 points, compared to last year:
SurveyUSA Minnesota poll: Only 22% believe that Franken should remain in office while 33% say he should resign. Another 36% want to wait for the ethics investigation.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) November 22, 2017
Franken job approval plummets to 36%. pic.twitter.com/HOR28HxZ5z
"To me the striking findings in this poll are first, that only 22 percent are behind Al Franken staying in office," Carleton College Political Scientist Steven Schier said...Secondly, he notes there is no demographic group in the poll where a majority say he should remain in office. If Franken does stay in office, only 32 percent say he can be an "effective" senator. Meanwhile, 37 percent say he would be "ineffective" and 32 percent are not sure...Senator Franken's approval rating in Minnesota has also taken a nosedive since the allegations from Leeann Tweeden first surfaced last Thursday. His approval rating now stands at 36 percent, down from 53 percent in November 2016. For comparison, he's now just five points higher than President Donald Trump's 31 percent approval rating in Minnesota. He's 20 points lower than Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is at 56 percent.
Prior to this scandal, Franken was floating along in the 50's; today, just over one-third of voters give him a thumbs-up on his performance. As an aside, Trump's terrible 31 percent rating in Minnesota is a bit of an eye-opener, too. Sure, it's a blue state, but Trump came shockingly close to carrying it last year. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in the land of 10,000 lakes by almost eight points five years ago, then Hillary barely clipped Trump by a point-and-a-half. If he's languishing in the low 30's in a place where he was competitive statewide a year ago, that's a compelling internal data point in a survey that's mostly about Franken's travails. Meanwhile, here's the Detroit Free Press editorializing that Democratic Congressman John Conyers should resign following a pair of sexual harassment accusations -- including from a women whose complaint was secretly settled with taxpayer money:
The revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous. It is the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people. And it means that whatever Conyers’ legacy will eventually be, his tenure as a member of Congress must end — now. He should resign his position and allow the investigation into his behavior to unfold without the threat that it would render him, and the people he now represents, effectively voiceless.
Some of Conyers' collegues are calling on him to relinquish his seat on the House Judiciary Committee as an ethics probe is carried out. Finally, via Ed Morrissey, I'll leave you with another controversy involving a Congressional Democrat -- this one is related to more prosaic corruption allegations, an doesn't fall under the perv-a-thon umbrella. The FBI is on the case:
After an avalanche of perversion, this old-fashioned political corruption scandal might seem relatively... https://t.co/Lt3507GUy5— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) November 22, 2017
Democrats rode a "culture of corruption" theme to victory in the 2006 midterm elections; if they try to reprise that theme against the GOP next year, they'll have quite a lot of their own problem baggage to answer for.