On 50th Anniversary of Watergate Break In, 80% of Tennessee Voters Say They are Familiar with Watergate and Two-Thirds Familiar with Watergate Say It Revealed Corruption
June 17, 2022
CHATTANOOGA, TN – According to a poll conducted by Embold Research for the Tennessee Democracy Forum, Tennessee voters are both familiar with the Watergate affair that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and believe there was proof of corruption. The findings, part of the first Tennessee Democracy Poll, were released on the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break in which occurred on June 17, 1972.
Voters were asked: “Thinking back to President Richard Nixon's administration, it has now been almost 50 years since the Watergate affair. How familiar are you with the Watergate affair?” In response, 32% said that they were very familiar with Watergate and another 48% said that they were somewhat familiar: 14% responded that they were not too familiar and 6% indicated that they were not at all familiar.
- Familiarity with Watergate varied by age, with just 6% of voters over 65 years old saying they were unfamiliar with Watergate – compared to 36% of voters 18 to 34 years old;
- Familiarity with Watergate among Biden 2020 and Trump 2020 voters was almost equal – with 81% of Trump voters and 86% of Biden voters saying that they were either very or somewhat familiar with Watergate; and
- Similarly, there was little difference in familiarity among rural, urban and suburban voters – with 78%, 81% and 81% respectively saying that they were either very or somewhat familiar with Watergate.
Of those familiar with the Watergate affair, two-thirds (66%) say Watergate was a very serious matter that revealed corruption in the Nixon administration, as opposed to just politics that both parties engage in (34%). Among voters familiar with Watergate:
- Women (73%) were more likely to view it as serious compared to men (59%);
- Younger voters who were 18 to 34 years old were more likely to view it as serious (75%) compared to older voters 65 years old or older (62%);
- While just 4% of Black voters viewed Watergate as “just politics,” 38% of white voters indicated that it was just politics that both parties engaged in;
- Among Biden 2020 voters, 96% indicated that Watergate was a very serious matter that revealed corruption in the Nixon administration compared to a 54% majority of Trump 2020 voters who indicated that it was just politics: and
- And there were real differences among rural, urban and suburban voters – with 81% of urban voters, 72% of suburban voters and 57% of rural voters characterizing Watergate as a very serious matter that revealed corruption in the Nixon administration.
Embold Research surveyed 1,125 registered voters in Tennessee, with an oversample of Hamilton County, from April 8-11, 2022. Respondents were recruited via dynamic online sampling and SMS text-to-web sampling to attain a sample reflective of the electorate. Post-stratification weighting was performed on age, gender, ethnicity, education, region, and vote history. Weighting parameters were based on voterfile data. The modeled margin of error is 3.2%. For more information on Embold Research, go to https://emboldresearch.com/.
The results of the Tennessee Democracy Forum poll are being released over the coming months in conjunction with a series of a half dozen “Conversations on Democracy” to build support for a pro-democracy movement in Tennessee. Each conversation – both live remote and in person – will be an hour-long discussion of economic and political democracy focused on ongoing national and statewide issues. The Conversations will be open to the public and there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.
For more information on the “Conversations on Democracy” series, go to www.tndemocracyforum.org. The Tennessee Democracy Forum is a project of ForwardTN. For more about ForwardTN go to www.forwardtn.org.