How Republican and Democratic sex scandals differ
By Christopher Ingraham
April 10 at 2:19 pm
Over at The Fix, Scott Clement just posted a fascinating analysis of federal sex scandals going back to 1974. He concludes that “suffering a personal scandal cuts an officeholder’s reelection chances in half,” and surmises that this bodes poorly for Louisiana’s Rep. Vance McAllister (R), currently in hot water over some on-camera shenanigans with a female staffer.
Since 1974 there have been at least 39 sex scandals involving sitting congressmen, senators, or presidents (hi Bill!). Granted, 39 cases don't make for a large sample. But nonetheless some interesting observations do emerge. All of the elected officials involved have been male. Sex scandals have been slightly more prevalent among Republican lawmakers (22) than Democratic ones (17), although historically speaking this is largely due to the Republicans’ very strong recent showing – three quarters of sex scandals since the year 2000 have involved Republicans.
Republican sex scandals have also been more likely to involve adultery than Democratic ones: 86 percent of the GOP scandals involved an elected official cheating on his wife, compared to only 65 percent of Democratic scandals. The remaining scandals all dealt with other types of sexual indiscretion.
Democratic officials, on the other hand, were twice as likely to bring their bad behavior into the workplace – 53 percent of Democratic scandals involved some sort of workplace harassment or dalliance, compared to 27 percent among Republicans.