More Americans think a president's past extramarital affairs should affect how he is judged on the job now than did so during Bill Clinton's administration, according to a new CNN poll.
Specifically, 38 percent of adults polled during the Trump administration said extramarital affairs should be relevant, and 59 percent said they should not be relevant, the poll, released Friday, shows. It was conducted by the research company SSRS from February 20-23.
By comparison, 26 percent said it should be relevant and 72 percent said it shouldn’t be in a poll conducted February 12-13, 1999, during Clinton's tenure. His affair with Gennifer Flowers was revealed during the 1992 campaign.
Meanwhile, the spotlight turned on Trump in January, when reports emerged that his lawyer Michael Cohen allegedly paid off porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged affair that took place while his wife Melania Trump was pregnant. Cohen admitted last month that he paid Daniels $130,000, using his own money.
In addition, 52 percent of adults said Trump’s personal life matters and his moral character is important, while 46 percent said his personal life doesn’t matter if he is doing a good job of running the country. That breakdown reflects the reversal of seven similar polls conducted in 1998 and 1999 concerning Clinton, whose sex scandal with then-intern Monica Lewinsky led to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Among adults polled from February 4-8, 1999, for example, 46 percent said Clinton’s personal life mattered, while 53 percent said it didn’t matter so long as he was doing a good job running the nation.
The recent poll surveyed 1,016 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
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