Political Sex Scandals tend to affect and favor one party over the other…

I know, I know, this is going to be a controversial post. Just by nature. However…I’ve brought some facts.

So, I was browsing some stories and stumble across this wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

I took that, and compiled some more info into this spreadsheet, looking just at events since 1990.

TL;DR: Republicans were 3 times as likely to be caught up in a scandal, and 6 times more likely to get away with it.

It’s here (and public): Google Doc Spreadsheet.

*Lines in red indicate no noticeable effect on career.

**Lines in BOLD indicate person is still in office.

Most of those fields are self explanatory, but a few need clarification. Some events were very old, some were more recent, but the offender was already out of office when the scandal broke.


  • MOT – Moral Outrage Today.
    • I ranked events on how they might be perceived today. Example, Strom Thurmond’s “sin” was fathering a *black* child. Now, a mixed race, non-wedlock child is a non-issue, but it was percieved differently in different times.
    • I tried to keep similar accusations ranked similar, but some would clearly see seen worse today that when they happened (harrassment, etc.) and some would be seen as “that’s an issue???” (shirtless photos surfacing of male congressmen, *being gay*). Others, like Gary Condit, the accusation (rape, murder) was *way worse* than the actual offense (regular affair), and like Denny Hastert, the actual offense (molesting boys while he was a coach) was *way worse* than the initial accusation (possible tax evasion.)
  • Outcome
    • Did they survive re-election? Resign? Still in office? Primaried?
    • Keep in mind, some people “resigned” at the last minute, others resigned immediately, others refused to resign, despite overwhelming evidence, and a couple resigned, even though their “offense” is perceived by many as not warranting a resignation.
  • My takeaway
    • Just some notes on hypocrisy or relevant trivia related to the out come
  • Negative effect
    • I looked at what happened after the scandal. Some resigned, others are still in office. Did it have an overall negative effect on their career? I have Y, N, and ?. Some clearly had an effect, others is debatable. Did Clinton suffer any career effects, since his career was effectively over his completed term. Roy Moore already had a controversial career, and his accusations didn’t change any minds. Herman Cain didn’t have a political career to begin with, so who knows how it affected him.

So, that all being said, what’s the infographic version of how things played out?

There were 50 “sexual scandals” since 1990, not including the current Brett Kavanaugh issue.

Of the 50:

13 were Democrats
37 were Republicans

5 were indeterminate with respect to effect
15 had no noticeable effect
30 had clear effect

Of the Democracts,

1 was unclear of effect
2 were able to salvage their careers
10 had their careers ended

Of the Republicans,

4 were unclear
13 were able to salvage their careers
20 had their careers ended

Of the 5 with questionable effect:

1 Democrat – 20%
5 Republican -80%

Of the 15 with no effect:

2 Democrats –¬† 13%
13 Republican – 87%