Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

70 Percent of Americans Would Be More Bothered by Political Bullying than Politician Drug Use or Infidelity


Reason-Rupe finds most Americans would be more concerned by political bullying than typical scandals that bring down politicians. Seventy percent of Americans would be "more bothered" by politicians using their political power to bully someone, while only 14 percent would be more bothered if their elected official used drugs and 11 percent would be more concerned if the politician cheated on his or her spouse.

Politicians who have been caught cheating, such as former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer or former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, often choose to step down from their elected posts.  Similarly former Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) resigned after he was arrested for cocaine possession.

Reason-Rupe poll results suggest that while the public may not approve of politician drug use or infidelity, they would be far more upset if it were proven an elected official used their political power to bully their opponents. For instance, this means that if the public were to believe allegations that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was behind lane closures on the George Washington bridge ("Bridgegate") for political retribution, this could create very serious problems for a Christie presidential bid. However, a recent Quinnipiac poll finds only 26 percent of New Jersey voters believe Christie personally ordered the traffic jam. Instead 64 percent think Christie's aides made the call for political retribution, and a slim majority (51 percent) believes Christie was aware of his aides' actions. Overall, New Jersey voters are evenly divided over whether they consider Christie a bully (48 percent) or a leader (48%) with independent voters breaking in favor of leader by a margin of 54 to 43 percent. In sum, while no one likes a bully, not even New Jersey voters who have heard the most about Bridgegate are convinced Christie needs to step down.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 26-30 2014 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.6%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.

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  1. The best comment I’ve heard about philandering politicians: “If his wife can’t trust him, why should you?”

    1. I want a philandering, carousing, office-girl-smooching runagate womanizer in office. I want a Harding or a Rob Ford. Instead we get pious busybodies whose indiscretions are quickly papered over with accolades for the economic conditions of the day.

      1. Fuck ya! I want my politicians more worried about hangovers and love children than telling me what to do.

        1. The depressing part is how they manage to multitask. Eg, Bill Clinton conducting business over the phone while Monica was, you know…

          1. What that isn’t a common skill?

    2. You shouldn’t trust a politician to begin with, regardless of what (s)he’s doing with the plumbing.

  2. Well, seeing as almost 100% of politics involves bullying, I’d say there’s a very strange overlap in the number of people bothered with it and the number that vote to re-elect the incumbent in their town, district, state or national election.

    1. Other politicians are bullies because they won’t give our politicians the latitude to deliver nirvana.

      1. Do you write copy for HuffPo on the side, because I swear this sounds like virtually every fucking editorial ever written over there.

        1. It’s wreckers, Kulaks and obstructionist Teathuglihadists all the way down.

    2. seeing as almost 100% of politics involves bullying

      But, sloopy, is it really “bullying” if it’s being done for your own good?

  3. Dude you got to be kidding right?

  4. Alternate headline: 30% of Americans are morons.

  5. Except for IRS bullying? Or Presidential bullying (healthcare companies are on warning to not talk about Ocare forcing policy cancellations)?

    Sorry – but I call BS.

    All that poll proved – is that if you ask people if they are against a “bully” they’ll say yes, but what recent reality shows is that most people are perfectly happy with the bully so long as they believe that bully is on their side.

    1. What percentage of the people do you think are even aware of IRS, DEA, EPA … bullying? They certainly won’t hear about from major news outlets.

      1. The Washington Post actually did a story on the IRS targeting yesterday. That’s where the information that just came out about IRS agents telling tax payers to vote for Obama.

        Wapo has, surprisingly enough, been doing its job when it comes to the IRS. It’s the rest of the major news outlets that are run by utter scum.

  6. So Oakland hasn’t been totally wasted, since the unions have yet to drive business out of the Bay Area. And SF is expensive enough that the overflow is now beginning to effect Oakland and that pisses off the poverty pimps:

    “Gentrification transforming face of Oakland”…..387273.php

    The mayor (an unreconstructed ’70s lefty) and the council have done their level best to turn the town into a left-coast Detroit, but the market is now saving their sorry asses, and one of the commenters almost gets it:
    “for a city that has been horribly mismanaged, gentrification may be its only chance for improving the problems at hand….and I bet that has really been the plan all along.”
    No, it wasn’t ‘the plan’; it was the random function of the market.

    1. The last thing Oakland politicians want is a bunch of upper middle class residents who demand decent schools and won’t put up with corruption. They’re better off with the homeless.

    1. Love it, I used to have two rats, and would gladly get more if I had the time to train them. Rats are extremely intelligent, friendly, and surprisingly clean.

  7. Silly, or what?

  8. SAmmy Da Bull So So says that aint gonna happen!

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