Karen Halperin Cyphers: Does #MeToo reduce demand for a Bill Clinton endorsement?
Leading into Florida’s recent Democratic gubernatorial primary, the lone female candidate and presumed front-runner Gwen Graham was asked in a debate if she would accept support from former President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail … “given the #MeToo movement.”
She hesitated in answering and took heat from her opponents (and perhaps from some voters) for failing to welcome Clinton’s support wholeheartedly.
I don’t need a mention of #MeToo to be reminded of Clinton’s catalog of transgressions, including and beyond what constitutes abuse of power or exploitation in the workplace. Therefore, in my mind, Graham’s hesitation was warranted — even if not the most strategic answer when competing for Democratic votes.
But now Florida’s attention is on the most polarized and high-profile gubernatorial contest in the nation, in which support from nonpartisan voters will determine the outcome.
I wanted to know how Floridians across the political spectrum would react to the same question: Would an endorsement from the former president positively or negatively impact views toward the candidate he supports — with, and without, specific reference to #MeToo?
We tested this through an experimental survey design in which half of the 1,100 respondents were primed