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ON THE TRAIL / IN A NUMBER

Willing to forgive infidelity

December 28, 2007|Stuart Silverstein; Janet Hook

When it comes to presidential candidates' extramarital affairs, Democrats -- at least in Iowa and New Hampshire -- are much more apt to be forgiving than Republicans.

According to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, 73% of Democrats who intend to go to Thursday's caucuses in Iowa and 72% of those planning to vote in the Jan. 8 primary in New Hampshire said learning that a candidate had an extramarital affair would have "no effect" on their support.

On the GOP side, 39% in Iowa and 52% in New Hampshire said a contender's infidelity wouldn't affect their support.

-- Stuart Silverstein

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On the attack: The poll also found that Democrats in the two states thought Hillary Rodham Clinton had done the most negative campaigning among the major contenders in their party.

In New Hampshire, Clinton was rated the most negative by a wide margin; 40% said she led the way. John Edwards was next at 11%.

Among Republicans, Mitt Romney was regarded as the king of negativity in Iowa at 35%. None of the other candidates climbed into double figures.

In New Hampshire, none of the Republican candidates stood out as negative.

-- Janet Hook

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

On religion

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll asked prospective voters in Iowa and New Hampshire whether they thought a presidential candidate's religious beliefs and relationship with God should play a role in the campaign, or whether the subject matter was personal and should not be part of the campaign.

Iowa Democrats

Should not play a part: 71%

Play a part: 22%

Not sure/refused: 7%

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Iowa Republicans

Play a part: 54%

Should not play a part: 42%

Not sure: 4%

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N.H. Democrats

Should not play a part: 80%

Play a part: 15%

Not sure/refused: 5%

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N.H. Republicans

Play a part: 30%

Should not play a part: 65%

Not sure/refused: 5%

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For the complete wording of the poll questions, go to www.latimes.com/timespoll

Source: Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

'I've got a daughter that's going to be president someday, I know it. And I am all for a woman president --

just not this year, not next year.'

Republican presidential candidate

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