We released a new poll today, the complete results of which can be found here, dealing with the Scooter Libby fiasco. Here are some highlights.
Not surprispingly, most people think that the punishment handed to Libby was fair. We found that 60% of people thought his punishment was correct OR too lenient and only 35% think it was too harsh. Unfortunately, 45% of people think Bush should have pardoned or commuted him, and 50% think he should have just stayed out of it. Even in a conservative state like NC, I thought more than 50% of people would be unhappy with Bush's handling. It seems like his base it still supportive for whatever reason.
We also asked people if they think Bush had some kind of roll in the leak scandal. 48% think he had nothing to do with it, but 28% think he did something illegal and 17% think he did something unethical. Obviously, if people held a better view of Bush and his ratings were higher, more than half the state would support him on this. It just irks me that the Republicans continue to support him without a valid reason. However, that many people thinking he did something illegal is nothing to be happy about, and it does show the split between those who still love W and those who hate him.
When it comes to Cheney, people seem to have a lower opinion. We found that 52% of people think he was involved in a cover-up to prevent prosecutors from finding out who really leaked the name; 37% think he wasn't involved in a cover-up. Also of note, 50% of the state, thinks this scandal indicates low ethics in the Bush Administration, which might be the most important finding of the poll. Though that opinion was largely confined to Democrats, a growing number of Republicans are beginning to distrust this administration and its disregard for law, oversight, and ethics. Maybe that will help the Democrats make some gains in NC in 2008.
Take a look at the entire survey and report and let us know what you think.