Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his candidacy for the New York City Comptroller position, and there’s already evidence showing that Spitzer’s use of high-priced prostitutes could severely harm his candidacy.
In May, disgraced former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford won his old congressional seat back in an election, several years after it was discovered the Governor was cheating on his wife with an Argentinian mistress.
In advance of that election, Business Insider and SurveyMonkey — an online polling firm that has enjoyed considerable success in out-polling telephone firms — teamed up to find out what voters considered unforgivable.
We asked respondents about a hypothetical congressional race in which the candidate they supported — and who was effectively carrying out the duties of their office — was revealed to have committed various crimes and moral lapses. We then asked if that would lead respondents to continue their support for that candidate or drop it.
While this poll was designed to ask about congressional representatives, there’s no reason to believe that there aren’t similar effects for other local elected office.
For mere adulterers, the drop in support wasn’t that significant:
However, when asked if they would support a candidate who utilized the services of prostitutes, that was a breaking point for many.
More than half of respondents said they would discontinue support for a candidate if they learned that the candidate was a john.