A Time-Louis Harris Poll: Ted's Crumbling Position

IMMEDIATELY after his televised account of the accident that cost Mary Jo Kopechne's life. Edward Kennedy enjoyed considerable public sympathy—a TIME-Louis Harris Poll showed. Since then, the Senator has kept silent about the case and has worked, through his lawyers, to alter the ground rules of an inquest into the death. Ted Kennedy has paid for his silence. A second poll last week found that Americans are markedly more skeptical about him.

The survey covered 1,589 people, 81% of whom said they have been following the case at least "fairly closely." Since Kennedy had figured prominently in presidential speculation, Harris matched...

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