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FOX News Poll: Americans Have 'Moved On' From Petraeus Flap

Most Americans (53 percent) paid little or no attention to advertisements by the political activist group MoveOn.org, according to the latest FOX News Poll. In fact, almost six in ten (56 percent) have never heard of the organization, while another 11 percent don’t know enough about them to give the group a favorable or unfavorable rating.

Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from September 25 to September 26. The poll has a 3-point error margin.

The survey also finds that less than four in 10 voters thinks it is okay to run an ad attacking the president of the United States (37 percent), while somewhat fewer feel the same way about an ad attacking the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq (30 percent). In fact, Republicans (84 percent) are significantly more likely than Democrats (46 percent) to disapprove of an ad attacking a military leader.

It was just such a full-page ad by MoveOn.org that accused General David Petraeus of "betraying" the United States by presenting an improved situation in Iraq in his status report to Congress. Almost six in ten Americans (59 percent) thought the ad "hurt" rather than "helped" the country.

Voters were split on how much influence MoveOn.org has on Democratic Party policies—with 34 percent saying it has a lot or some influence and 26 percent feeling it has little or no influence.

Click here to view full results of the poll (pdf).

After the ad ran in the New York Times, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to condemn MoveOn.org for its actions. While every Republican senator voted for the measure, a number of Democrats—including some presidential candidates—either voted against it or did not vote at all.

When asked to choose the main reason why Democrats might have refused to speak out against the ad, a plurality of Americans (43 percent) cites the fear of political backlash from MoveOn.org. Only about one in seven voters (16 percent) think Democratic hesitancy was due to agreement with the ad’s position on Petraeus.

When informed that Democratic presidential contender and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton voted against the measure condemning MoveOn.org, almost seven in 10 voters (69 percent) said knowing this made no difference to them when considering whether or not to vote for the former first lady. However, 13 percent did say knowledge of Clinton’s vote would make them "less likely" to vote for her, which could spell the difference in a key state or two in a tight final election race.