Ensign approval plummets after affair revelation

Silver State voters' opinion of Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has soured since he admitted to having an extramarital affair last week, according to a poll released Sunday.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal poll found that 39 percent of Nevadans now view the Republican favorably, a 14 percent slide from the paper's poll about a month ago.

Thirty-seven percent said they view Ensign unfavorably, a 19 percent jump from the previous poll.
Not all of the polls findings were bad for Ensign, though. The poll, which was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., found that more than six in 10 Nevadans do not think Ensign should resign.

And almost half of Nevadans in the survey said Ensign's admission hasn't changed their view of the senator.

Ensign admitted he had an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a former staffer, on Tuesday. This weekend, Ensign's staff said Hampton's husband, Doug, another former Ensign staffer, sought to blackmail Ensign.

"Within the past month, Doug Hampton's legal counsel made exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits on behalf of his client," Ensign spokesman Tory Mazzola said in a statement released to media outlets late Friday.

Ensign is reportedly planning to return to D.C. on Monday after spending the week in Nevada.

The poll, which surveyed 625 registered voters, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.