A poll conducted by SurveyUSA, taken less than 36 hours after the story of Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea for disorderly conduct in an airport men’s room, showed that 55% of Idahoans surveyed want Craig to resign.
The poll used standard call-sampling techniques. From SurveyUSA’s website:
Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT, unless otherwise indicated on the individual poll report. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Within the report, you will find: the geography that was surveyed; the date(s) interviews were conducted and the news organization(s) that paid for the research. The number of respondents who answered each question and the margin of sampling error for each question are provided. Where necessary, responses were weighted according to age, gender, ethnic origin, geographical area and number of adults and number of voice telephone lines in the household, so that the sample would reflect the actual demographic proportions in the population, according to the most recent US census numbers.
A sample of 600 adults, surveyed Tuesday evening (August 28) included 475 registered voters who had heard the story.
55% said Craig should resign, 34% said he should stay in office, and 11% were not sure.
Among Republicans, 45% said Craig should resign, 42% said he should remain in office.
Democrats and Independents “overwhelmingly” said he should resign.
The poll summary notes that the story is a complex one, and opinions can be expected to change.
Approval ratings have taken a dramatic turn: 34% of respondents said they approved of Craig’s job performance vs. 58% who disapproved. SurveyUSA compares these numbers to their own poll taken in November 2006, when Craig had a 60% approval rating.
Over 19 consecutive months of tracking Craig, his SurveyUSA Job Approval among Idaho Republicans ranged from 71% to 82%. Today, among Idaho Republicans Craig’s approval is 46%. Among Idaho Conservatives, Craig’s Job Approval for 19 months ranged between 70% and 80%. Today, among Conservatives, Craig’s approval is at 51%.
The poll also includes favorability ratings for possible successors to Craig, using only Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthore as samples. Simpson takes that one, with a plus 21% favorability rating as compared with plus 9% for Risch and plus 13% for Kempthorne.