The Big Question: Will the Rangel trial hurt Dems in November?

Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said:
Just because something is in the headlines doesn't mean it is electorally important. Most voters barely know who Rangel is. The Democrats' problem is the weak economy, not Charlie Rangel.

Alan Abramowitz, professor of Political Science at Emory University, said:
I think it is highly unlikely that the Rangel trial will have any effect on the midterm elections. The key issue in the midterm election will be the economy. When it comes to corruption, voters don’t see either party as having clean hands. 

Bernie Quigley, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
No. This is garden-variety corruption. If a million dollar bride to Bill Clinton barely makes an impression and allows his wife to continue, the Rangel situation will be more or less unnoticed. It does however indicate that we as a people and presumably as a republic are in grave moral danger.

John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, said:

Even if Mr. Rangel is guilty of all the charges being aimed at him, the fallout will not seriously affect the fall elections. There are other issues that are much more on the minds of voters (unemployment, debt, on-going war, illegal immigration, etc.).
Democrats who are committed to their party will not abandon it.  Same for Republicans.  The key, as in all recent elections, is the large number of uncommitted voters.  Most of these know that there have been ethics violators amongst Republicans too.  And we can be sure that Democrat leaders will remind them of the GOP members (in office or recently departed) who have less-than-pure reputations.
Rangel would do his Democrat friends a favor, however, by dealing with the charges against him swiftly so that any effect the matter might have in the fall elections will be largely forgotten.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of, said:
Rangel's trial, over relatively petty thievery, may have a marginal effect on the election, but the Democrats have worse problems to confront: their corporatist agenda in general is a millstone around their necks. Their best bet is to say: "The other party is even worse than we are." Not exactly an inspiring message, but you work with what you have....

John Feehery, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
Yes.  Much like the Foley scandal put the final nail in the coffin of a Republican Majority in 2006, this scandal means curtains for the Democrats in 2010.

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