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Tellwut Online Survey Finds Over 60% Feel A Political Scandal Involving Fraud Is Worse Than A Drug Or Sex Scandal

11/25/2013, the online survey and online market research group, compiled a study to measure public sentiment with respect to three types of political scandal: sex, drugs and fraud. Interestingly, over 60% of over three thousand online panelists found fraud to be the worst of these three types of political scandal. Tellwut’s online survey measuring public sentiment with respect to political scandal found that over 60% of people found a fraud scandal to be worse than a sex or drug scandal. 21% said a drug scandal was worse followed closely by 19% who felt a sex scandal was worse. These results did not change when measured along gender lines. Though fraud was always significantly weighted as the worst, Tellwut found interesting splits along other demographic lines with respect to where sex and drug scandals fell in the spectrum. US voters put a drug scandal ahead of a sex scandal by 3 percentage points, versus Canadians splitting the difference by one percentage point. Married people found a drug scandal to be worse than a sex scandal by three percentage points while single people put drugs as worse than a sex scandal by only one percentage point. The greatest deviations were found to be amongst age demographics, with the over 50 crowd ranking fraud at 66%, drugs at 20% and sex at 14% versus the 18 to 34 age group who put a sex scandal as second worst ranking 57% fraud, 23% sex and 20% drugs. This last statistic is worthy of note in that it juxtaposes drugs versus sex in the 34 and under group versus the over 50 crowd. Only 14% of respondents over 50 felt a sex scandal was worse versus 23% of 18-34 year olds feeling this to be the case. This is most likely because the younger crowd is more idealistic and less jaded than the 50+ crowd with respect to relationships and fidelity. The younger group may also feel that drugs are less of an issue than the 50+ generation. In the comments provided by Tellwutter’s, some stated that fraud is the worst as it impacts the politician’s constituents financially. Others believe with respect to drugs and sex scandals, that what a politician does in their own personal life does not directly impact the electorate in the same way as a fraud scandal would. This may explain why Toronto Mayor Rob Ford still has a 42% approval rating as reported in the National Post, even though he admitted to smoking crack cocaine. Though as one Tellwuter said, these vices usually go together, so maybe it is just a matter of time before Rob Ford will be shrouded in a fraud scandal. If this were to become the case, then based on this online survey showing significant voter distain for political scandal involving fraud, Mayor Rob Ford’s approval ratings would plummet.