Clinton Approval Rating Down Slightly
NEW YORK (AllPolitics, March 21) -- Americans polled by Newsweek appear to be sharply divided on whether Clinton should remain president if Kathleen Willey's allegation of a sexual encounter with him is true.
In a survey of 750 adults released today, 49 percent said that even if the president lied, he should stay in office -- with or without issuing an apology to the American people.
Yet 43 percent said Clinton should leave office if the allegation is true and Clinton lied about it.
A week after Willey's appearance on "60 Minutes," the president's approval rating dropped to 62 percent, a two-point dip from last month's Newsweek poll.
In that television interview, Willey said Clinton placed his hands on her breasts, kissed her on the mouth and placed her hand on his genitals during a conversation about her financial troubles. The encounter allegedly took place at the White House in 1993.
Perpetrator or victim?
Only 37 percent of Newsweek's survey respondents believe Willey's allegation -- but just 35 percent accept the president's denial.
The survey also showed 39 percent said Clinton gets away with more than other political office holders, while 58 percent said he gets away with less or about the same as others.
And, 49 percent -- 53 percent of them men -- said that if Clinton held a job other than the presidency, the sexual behavior allegations against him would have forced him out of his job.
More women than men -- 37 percent to 33 percent -- believe Clinton, the survey showed.
The poll is in the Newsweek issue on newsstands Monday.