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From First Read, reviewing their NBC/WSJ poll:
The Foley scandal, co-pollster Peter Hart (D) says, has been "the coagulate of this election" in that it served to harden all of voters' various uncertainties about the Republican leadership in Congress.  The scandal hit two different buttons, Hart says: "Children are our central nervous system," and also, "the leadership were more interested in saving their own skins, and they acted like politicians instead of acting like fathers."  Although the poll shows that the scandal has not seriously undercut the GOP's traditional advantage over Democrats when it comes to promoting strong moral values, 55% of those polled who've heard about the scandal are dissatisfied with the way GOP leaders handled it.  The upshot, per Hart, is that voters now feel as though they have permission to vote against the party.

Also rather problematic for Republicans: Foley is recognized by a remarkable 83% of the electorate; 69% view him negatively.  House Majority Leader John Boehner and former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl are scheduled to testify before the Ethics Committee today about their knowledge of Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages.

That knowledge points to Hastert, the albatross next to Bush's anvil, each hanging around every Republican congressman's neck. New revelations about Foley reinforce what people think they already know: cover-up.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 08:14 AM PDT.

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