WASHINGTON – A new poll shows Sen. Al Franken’s approval rating plummeting as two more women accuse the senator of groping.
According to the Huffington Post, two more women have come forward with allegations against Franken. Both women, who requested anonymity, shared strikingly similar stories to Lindsay Menz’s, who claims Franken grabbed her buttocks during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
The first woman told HuffPost Franken groped her during a photo-op in 2007 at an event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis. The woman, a 38-year-old book editor, had performed with a feminist choir at the event which Franken and his wife attended.
“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story,” the first woman told HuffPost. “He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”
At the time, Franken, who was in the middle of his first senatorial campaign, was popular for his Air America radio show. The first woman admitted she asked to have a photo taken with Franken for her mother who was a big fan of his radio show. That’s when the first woman alleges Franken slipped his hand down to her buttocks.
”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went,” the first woman told HuffPost.
The second woman recalled a similar incident, this time taking place at a fundraiser in the fall of 2008 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The second woman, who was 21-years-old at the time of the alleged groping, was looking forward to meeting Franken, seeking him out to introduce herself.
“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” the second woman told HuffPost. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt. I was completely mortified.”
The woman then attempted to excuse herself to go to the bathroom when Franken leaned in and suggested he go with her. The girl then grabbed a friend and ran to the bathroom. The woman told several people at the time, including a HuffPost reporter, but did not want the incident reported on.
“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman told HuffPost. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”
The second woman says she did not share her story publicly because she felt she “didn’t have a voice” at the time.
“This man had all of the power, all of the authority. In addition, he is a white man and I am a woman of color,” the second woman told HuffPost. “I was 21 years old. And I was afraid that he would use all of those privileges to discredit me, to make me feel even smaller than I already felt.”
Franken issued a brief statement to HuffPost saying, “it’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”
“I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom,” Franken told HuffPost.
The first woman shared her story with HuffPost because Franken is “a serial groper,” she said.
The first woman, a self-proclaimed liberal, called Franken “a serial groper.” She wanted to share her story with HuffPost to prove the allegations were not a “right-wing conspiracy.”
“Only two people have come forward, and people are saying that this is a right-wing conspiracy,” she told HuffPost. “It’s not. I’m a liberal person. … I voted for him after this happened.”
As the number of sexual allegations against Franken continue to rise, a new poll shows the senator’s approval rating has taken a double-digit hit.
According to a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, which surveyed 600 Minnesotans, Franken’s approval rating is 36 percent, down from 53 percent at the same time last year. The poll was taken Monday night after the first two sexual assault allegations against Franken.
New tonight: Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s approval numbers have plummeted in MN since he’s been accused twice of sexual misconduct/harassment. He’s at just 36% down 17 points from almost exactly a year ago. * Survey USA Poll pic.twitter.com/D9oej4QN9h
— Lindsey Brown (@LBrownKSTP) November 22, 2017
Even more concerning for the senator, only 22 percent Minnesotans surveyed said he should remain in office. One third of those polled said he should resign while another 26 percent want to wait to see the outcome of the Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
A full breakdown of the survey can be viewed here.