Majority of Minnesotans Say Lawmakers Should Resign if Evidence Shows Allegations Are True

November 21, 2017 07:39 PM

A majority of Minnesotans say that two state lawmakers who've been accused of sexual harassment should resign if evidence surfaces the allegations are true, according to a new SurveyUSA News Poll released Tuesday. 

In fact, State Sen. Dan Schoen plans to announce his resignation Wednesday, according to his attorney. 

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Both Schoen and State Rep. Tony Cornish have been accused by multiple women in recent weeks of sexual harassment.   

RELATED: Attorney Says Embattled Lawmaker Schoen Plans to Resign From Senate

Minnesota GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan says the people of Minnesota are backing her calls for both lawmakers to resign immediately.

"We came out earlier and asked for both the state legislators to resign, and based on the poll results it seems liked the people that answered the poll would be in agreement with that," Carnahan said.  "If we don't have trust that those people have the right moral and ethical values, how can they be representing us in Minnesota?"


What the number show

A SurveyUSA news poll sponsored by KSTP and conducted between Nov. 20 and 21 asked 600 Minnesota adults about the sexual harassment allegations against elected officials.

Two Minnesota state lawmakers have been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Should state legislators resign from office if there's evidence the allegations are true? 

Overall Results (3.5 percent margin of error)

Yes -- 75 percent

No -- 7 percent 

Not Sure -- 18 percent

Male

Yes -- 78 percent

No -- 9 percent

Not Sure -- 13 percent

Female

Yes -- 72 percent

No -- 5 percent

Not Sure -- 24 percent

Age

18-34

Yes -- 81 percent

No -- 10 percent

Not Sure -- 9 percent 

35-49

Yes -- 77 percent

No -- 8 percent

Not Sure -- 16 percent 

50-64

Yes -- 70 percent

No -- 6 percent

Not Sure -- 25 percent

65+

Yes -- 69 percent

No -- 1 percent

Not Sure -- 30 percent


Cornish's chairmanship was suspended amid the sexual harassment claims. Reached by phone, he refused to comment about the poll results. 

The DFL released the following statement Tuesday in response to the poll results, and prior to the news of Schoen's impending resignation: 

"These disturbing allegations make clear that no workplace, including Minnesota's State Capitol, is immune to sexual harassment. The DFL stands strongly with the women who bravely shared their difficult stories, and all others who may have been harassed by Senator Dan Schoen. There is no room in our party for sexual harassment. The DFL calls for Senator Schoen's immediate resignation."

The poll also showed 86 percent of Minnesotans say Congress and the Minnesota Legislature should create policies that make it easier for their members or employees to report allegations of sexual harassment. 

In a press conference last week, Gov. Mark Dayton said he is assessing an appropriate reporting process
  
"We got to look at that and tighten it up and centralize it if necessary," Dayton said. "I do not want to jump to conclusions, but we take (harassment allegations) very seriously and we are going to take it very seriously over the next few months." 

Credits

Cleo Greene

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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