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Most People Feel Paula Jones' Case Should Not Be Postponed

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 10) -- Most Americans believe that Paula Jones should be allowed to press her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he is in office, though more believe Clinton than his accuser, according to a new CNN/TIME poll released today.

Only 39 percent of the general public thinks that the Supreme Court should postpone Jones' lawsuit until after the president is out of office, while 56 percent think the case should be allowed to continue.

Though a majority thinks Jones should have her day in court, the public tends to believe Clinton's side of the story by a 37-29 percent margin. More than one-third are undecided.

The poll figures show that women are more likely to believe Clinton's side of the story than men. Forty percent of women tend to believe Clinton, while 26 percent tend toward Jones, compared to the 33 percent of men who favor Clinton and 32 percent for Jones. An equal number of men and women are unsure who's telling the truth.

Jones filed the sexual harassment suit in 1994 seeking $700,000 in damages. She said that in 1991, then-Gov. Clinton made sexual advances to her in a Arkansas hotel suite. The Supreme Court decided last June to hear Clinton's appeal that the case against him should be delayed until his term is over because of the "unique responsibilities" of the office.

Who Do You Tend To Believe?

In any case, most people, 59 percent, think that Clinton's sexual behavior before he became president is not relevant to how he should be judged in office, while 36 percent believe it is relevant.

The mainstream media has been criticized for not giving Jones' claims the attention they deserve, but more people (43 percent) polled felt that the case has been given too much attention. A third feels that the amount of press has been right while only 16 percent feel it has been too little.

The CNN/TIME survey of 1,015 adults was conducted Jan. 8-9 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

CNN's Keating Holland contributed to this report

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