Monday, October 09, 2006

Look Ma! No Wheels!

It looks like the wheels are coming off the Republican experiment (via Eschaton):

An overwhelming majority of Americans think House Republican leaders put their own political interests ahead of the safety of congressional pages in their handling of the Mark Foley scandal, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll.

Seventy-nine percent of those polled — including 61 percent of Republicans — say GOP leaders were more concerned with politics than the well-being of the teenage pages.

Sixty-two percent think the Republican leadership was aware of the sexually explicit e-mails sent by former Rep. Foley before the public learned about them in late September — a charge many top Republicans deny. Two-thirds of Americans say GOP leaders did not take the matter seriously enough when they first learned about it.

But does this matter for the midterm elections? It's not clear, even assuming that all votes are correctly counted:

Two-thirds of voters say the Foley scandal will make little difference in how they cast their ballots, but 21 percent say it will make them more likely to vote Democratic.

Democrats continue to hold a sizeable lead in the generic vote for Congress, with 49 percent of registered voters saying they'd support a Democratic candidate versus 35 percent who would support a Republican. Those numbers show little change from last month.

What is most astonishing is this, though:

More Americans also now see the Democrats as the party holding the higher moral and ethical ground — once a Republican strength. Thirty-seven percent think the Democrats have higher ethical standards, compared to 32 percent for the Republicans. Forty-seven percent think the Democrats are more likely to share their moral values, versus 38 percent for the Republicans.

Especially in comparison to the post right below this one.