Voters Unmoved By Allegations Against Jordan in Ohio State Abuse Scandal, Poll Shows

Competing narratives surrounding Ohio Republican haven’t dented his ratings

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has so far deflected allegations that he ignored sex abuse complaints while he coached wrestling at Ohio State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Competing claims about what Rep. Jim Jordan knew or didn’t know about an Ohio sexual abuse scandal this week haven’t made a dent in his public profile, according to a new poll.

Jordan, a powerful Ohio conservative who is considering a run to take Paul Ryan’s place as Republican House leader, is seen as a top contender for that job by 9 percent of Americans, according to an Economist/YouGov poll published Thursday. That’s almost unchanged from last week, when 10 percent of respondents said they had a “very favorable” opinion of Jordan as a House leadership candidate.

The number of respondents who said they had a very unfavorable opinion of Jordan ticked up slightly — to 14 percent from 11 percent. But that’s within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. And the number of people who said they have never heard of Jordan remained unchanged at 40 percent.

In the week between the two polls, at least eight former wrestlers have come forward with allegations that Jordan ignored athletes’ complaints about a team doctor while he was the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University decades ago. Jordan’s repeated denials have been backed up by former coaches from the school and more than three dozen House lawmakers have come to his defense.  

The poll showed no clear front-runner among three potential candidates for House leader, with Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Steve Scalise, R-La., receiving similar favorability ratings. Seven percent of respondents said they thought Jordan should get the post, while 6 percent said McCarthy should and 9 percent favored Scalise.  Thirty-four percent said they don’t care who leads the GOP in the House. Party leaders in the House are elected by their colleagues.

The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults from July 8-10 through web-based interviews.

The Economist Group is the parent company of Roll Call.

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