A new poll is coming out today from the Pew Research Center on how rural, moral issue voters are reacting to the Mark Foley scandal. NPR's Howard Berkes got a look at the poll ahead of its release and called a number of those polled on their responses. It looks like the Foley scandal, so far, hasn't affected how these people are voting. They still support their congressional representatives and the Republican Party. From the piece:
Berkes: The Republicans and Independents we contacted don't connect this Washington scandal with the congressional candidates back home. One or two bad eggs, even in the Republican leadership, don't taint the whole party, says bank controller Sherman Crum of Caldwell, Ohio.
Crum: I can't with good conscience go into the polling booth in our congressional district and vote for my representative based on what Foley did. I have to try to put that aside and vote on policy that I think matches up with my beliefs and where I think the country needs to go.
Those polled are all voting in competitive congressional races. They all supported President Bush in 2004, and they all attend church, or list moral values as their top issue or both.
While I find the poll interesting, I don't think the Foley fracas will actually change that many people's votes. What may happen, I theorize, is that it may affect turnout, and it may distract some candidates from campaigning and fundraising over the next month. But, hey, I could be wrong.