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A new poll found that voters have more tolerance for politicians who have cheated on their partners than those who seek out prostitutes. Unlike the grudge they hold against elected officials who decide to use escort services, voters are willing to forgive a congressional representative who had an extramarital affair, Business Insider reports.

Teaming up with SurveyMonkey, Business Insider asked respondents if they would continue to support an effective and competent congressional leader if he or she engaged in a sexual relationship outside of the marriage. Nearly 40 percent are willing to forgive the faux pas, while about 30 percent would not.

Participants of the survey were also asked about their support for a congressional representative who “used the services of prostitutes but he/she is effectively performing the duties of his/her office,” adds Business Insider. More than half of the respondents would not dare support the rep’s rendezvous in that case. Fewer than 20 percent of the respondents would consider backing the person in office.

“This was a really significant dip,” says Business Insider. “Elected representatives who paid for sex saw a more significant drop in support than for candidates caught driving drunk.”

Politicians who are caught driving under the influence can breathe a sigh of relief. The support does not waver by much; about 35 percent would continue to support him or her while about 29 percent will continue to support the representative.

Worse than paid sexual encounters and unfaithfulness, voters don’t support a politician caught using an illegal drug. About 60 percent would not support the politician while about 10 percent would.

This poll is a pretty accurate representation of how voters have reacted to a politician’s lapse in judgment. For instance, former governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford re-won his congressional seat in an election even though he lied about being on the Appalachian Trail when he was really visiting his mistress in Argentina.

The survey cannot be more disheartening news former governor Eliot Spitzer who allegedly spent over $80,000 on paid escorts. He may be qualified as a candidate for New York City’s Comptroller position, but polls show that this would not be sufficient to overshadow his debauched past.

The most unethical deed that a politician can do that would drastically shatter his or her support is embezzlement and animal abuse, the poll concluded.

Would you continue your support for a philandering politician?

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