Americans are almost twice as likely to believe independent counsel Kenneth Starr's version of events concerning President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky as they are to believe the president's account, according to a poll.
That could pose problems for Clinton, because Starr claims in his report that the president tried to sway Lewinsky's testimony, a claim the president has denied.An ABC News poll taken Friday night after public release of Starr's report to Congress indicates 57 percent think Clinton should be impeached if he encouraged Lewinsky to lie about the relationship - an increase of 14 points on the same question since August.
The poll said that 59 percent think the president broke the law, an increase of 17 points since Aug. 21, just days after Clinton confessed his affair with the former White House intern. And it said 49 percent believe Starr has made a strong case for impeachment, compared to 26 percent who said the president's lawyers have made a strong case against impeachment. The poll also found 48 percent believe the Starr report is fair to Clinton while 41 percent think it is unfair.
Just over half said the Lewinsky matter is both a personal matter and an abuse of power.
The ABC poll indicated the president's job approval rating is still strong - 56 percent, although that's a 10-point drop from his peak in an ABC poll last month.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Saturday evening found Clinton's job approval at 67 percent, up from 64 percent in July. Taken into account that Clinton has apologized and said he sinned, 37 percent said Congress should drop the matter "even if laws were broken" while 60 percent said it should not and 3 percent were not sure.