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Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Politics | 17 comments

Dick Cheney’s Poll Numbers Are Going Up

ArrowUp.jpgFormer Vice President Dick Cheney may still not be Mr. Popularity when it comes to national poll numbers, but he has some good news today: on a day when the media will cover a speech on national security by President Barack Obama and then a speech by Cheney on the same subject, his poll numbers are going up:

As Dick Cheney prepares to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism, a new national poll suggests that favorable opinions of the former vice president are on the rise.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Thursday morning, indicates that a majority of Americans still have an unfavorable opinion of Cheney.

Fifty-five percent of people questioned in the poll say they have an unfavorable opinion of the former vice president. Thirty-seven percent say they have a favorable opinion of Cheney, up 8 percentage points from January when he left office.

In the past two months, the former vice president has become a frequent critic of the new administration in numerous national media interviews.

In the short term, at least, Cheney — helped by several other GOPers — seems to be making some headway — enough to impress some high powered pundits.

For instance, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman concludes: forget the RNC and watch the party’s real “muscle,” Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, since they’re the ones making headway against Obama — who now is facing problems on the right, left and from his toe-stumbling Democratic allies in Congress and finding he can’t control the news cycle or debate the way he did for the first part of his young administration:

Right now there are two RNCs here in Washington, side by side. The contrast is instructive. One, the Republican National Committee, is a clueless self-parody. The other, the (R)ush-(N)ewt-(C)heney tag team, is providing the real muscle as the Republican right begins to build traction in taking on President Obama and the Democrats.

…Barack Obama launched himself to power by promising to rethink—and vastly change—America’s approach to the war. But in the last several weeks, facing the grim realities of his role as commander in chief, he has been forced to backtrack, seeking a political middle course on defense and national-security policy….While those retreats have torn a few important pages from Obama’s earlier promises, the contributions from his Democratic allies on the Hill better resemble the work of a paper shredder.

…But even as Obama is speaking, who will be clearing his throat at a podium across town? Why, Dick Cheney, of course. The former vice president hasn’t singlehandedly created this situation, but he has adroitly capitalized on it. By relentlessly defending his record and promoting his views—keep Guantánamo open, use waterboarding, use all possible surveillance techniques—Cheney the Grim has helped create the fog of controversy now surrounding the White House. That is what an opposition party does. Chairman Steele and the real RNC should take a look.

The main problem for the GOP: they’re losing younger voters. The inroads the party may now be making via Limbaugh, Cheney and Newt blasting Obama likely shows the GOP regaining some partisans who defected to Obama and become independent voters. It still doesn’t solve the long — or short term — problem of the GOP’s downsized status, and likelihood that as younger voters become older and dominant, data shows they are not inclined to be as sympathetic to the GOP as many of their elders were.

Another problem for the GOP: a new CNN poll finds that Americans feel the U.S. is now headed in the right direction:

As the Republican Party condemns what they call the Democrats’ ‘march to socialism’, a new national poll indicates that most Americans believe President Barack Obama’s policies would move the country in the right direction.

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say they think the policies being proposed by the President would push the nation in the right direction, with 35 percent saying those policies would send the country in the wrong direction.

But the poll suggests that Americans don’t feel the same way about the Republicans. Thirty-nine percent of those questioned say that the policies of GOP Congressional leaders would move the country in the right direction, with a slight majority, 53 percent, saying Republican proposals would move the nation in the wrong direction.

“The poll indicates that some of Obama’s popularity is rubbing off on congressional Democrats,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Even though Nancy Pelosi has a low approval rating and Harry Reid is facing some low numbers in polls taken in his home state, 57 percent think that the policies of the Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the right direction. That’s not good news for the GOP.”

Four months into Obama’s presidency, the country remains in a recession, but the poll indicates that Americans aren’t blaming the new president or his party for the country’s economic problems so far. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say the Republicans are to blame, with only one in five saying the Democrats are more responsible for the country’s economic conditions.

More blog reaction is HERE.

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  • PWT

    The main problem for the GOP: they’re losing younger voters.

    Oh no! Don’t tell me we’re losing the uninformed college kids that live off of their parents! How can you respect a party that caters to the sniveling group of future baristas that comprise the group often referred to as younger voters?

    This country is screwed!

    T. Lynch

  • jchem

    “Obama — who now is facing problems on the right, left and from his toe-stumbling Democratic allies in Congress”

    This is a pretty big understatement. President Obama should worry more about settling down the folks on the left, as the current version of the Repubs is locked in the mad house. From David Broder:

    “The predictable result has been the first sustained outcry from the left, angry denunciations from leaders of constituencies that had been early supporters. They feel betrayed as they watch him continuing, with minor modifications, the policies and practices of his Republican predecessor.”

    That second sentence should be emphasized: ‘continuing the policies and practices of his Republican predecessor’. Broder isn’t the only one to say that. There was that New Republic piece that’s been cited a few times here, and of course you can always count on Karl Rove in today’s ‘Wall Street Journal’. The left should start holding Obama’s feet to the fire, instead of constantly focusing on the dysfunction across the aisle. Otherwise, we’ll all end up getting the same thing that so many were railing against when Bush was doing it.

  • shannonlee

    I’m still of the opinion that Bush did as much as possible in his last 6 months to ensure that Obama had no choice but to follow some of his policies…or otherwise watch the country go completely down the tube.

    As for Cheney…I guess that Extenze stuff really works.

  • GeorgeSorwell

    Well, I see from the linked poll that Cheney’s approval rating has skyrocketed all the way up to 37%.

    Two days ago, polls showing Nancy Pelosi with an approval rating of 39%–two points higher that Cheney’s–was taken as a sign of her weakness.

    I’m sure Cheney’s willingness to speak out is earning him some respect. Although I wonder about the effects of reports indicating that torture has become a problem for Pelosi.

  • Silhouette

    Well I can see things have returned to normal in DC. The republicans are involved with extreme, unforgiveable and heinous crimes that border on treason and have somehow managed to make it about “the waffling democrats” and escape unscathed..

    Not this time fellas… ; )

    I’m guessing at this point that Cheneyco is blackmailing Congress, Pelosi and most probably Obama too. Everyone has little secrets they don’t want out..even at the expense of the country.

    I will forgive anything but torture. I think many are on board with me. Pelosi et al: don’t make the mistake of caving to your fears. Turn it around on them. Call them on their blackmail. It won’t bode well for them..

  • casualobserver

    I’m still of the opinion that Bush did as much as possible in his last 6 months to ensure that Obama had no choice but to follow some of his policies…………

    Let’s think about how that would be conceivable in light of the Dem controlled House, the Hatch Act, the Congressional Review Act of 1996, the fact that any EO can be rescinded as fast as it was signed originally.

    Ah, I know, voodoo.

  • tidbits

    The increase in Cheney’s ratings should come as no surprise. For years he was the silent troll-puppet-master in the bunker, as he allowed others to define him during the Bush years. Having come out of the bunker to defend himself, it is normal that some segment of the population would perceive that he is not a troll and no longer lives in a bunker. He has, at least, reclaimed his standing with the Republican base and conservative Independents. Whether he will be able to move much beyond 37%, or whether he will fall back, has yet to be seen.

  • casualobserver

    I’m guessing at this point that Cheneyco is blackmailing Congress, Pelosi and most probably Obama too

    Geez, if we can only get Rosie to post here, we’ll have a trifecta of wild-eyed paranoids with Sil and shannonlee doing their level best to check reason at the door.

    Rudi is the master deflector of the lefty posters………however, at least when he seeks to change the subject from news not going his way he uses humor, not obvious delusion.

  • Zzzzz

    That 30-38% were the hard core Bush supporters. A few waffled for a bit, in light of all the Bush related failures, but Cheney pretending to be tough has brought them back.

  • Silhouette

    You think that for one minute if Cheney, facing nearing prosecution, wouldn’t stoop to blackmail to keep the hounds at bay?

    Think again. A three-year old could figure it out. Calling a truth that you don’t want exposed as “paranoid” is the oldest trick in the book. Try again..

  • AustinRoth

    I say it is a dead quail bounce.

  • shannonlee

    Well gee CO…

    First, your statement makes the assumption that Dems in the House and Senate are doing whatever Obama wants. We know from yesterdays vote on GBay that this is simply not the case.

    Second, sometimes an EO or a piece of legislature cannot simply be backed off. Once you start bailing out people left and right, you simply have to follow through with it in the hopes that it works. Same applies to Iraq.

  • casualobserver

    shannonlee- you’re way more an Obama sympathizer than an independent then. Your comment was that George Bush rigged the deck against Obama. If the DemCong is not playing ball with Obama, then you’re now implying they are effectively in sympathy with Bush on his “plot”. C’mon.

    As far as Iraq goes, he’s been sitting at the desk for 4 months. If he was hardcore serious about changing strategy, he could have at least effected some changes by now…but he hasn’t.

    I think “independent” lefties are in for some severe disappointment on foreign policy. He talks a new game, but pretty much let’s the old game continue away from the speeches to the contrary.

  • skippy

    i say it is a dead quail bounce.

    you misspelled “quayle.”

    • AustinRoth

      Quail, Quayle; tomato, tomatoe.


      • Hugh Jass

        ‘I have 3 letters for you; j-o-b-s” Joe Biden

        So STFU about Quayle already… With Joe Buffoon Biden one step away from the presidency, you have nothing to comment about…

  • elrod

    Cheney was blamed by Republicans during the Bush years for the party’s poor fortunes. But most core Republicans agreed with Cheney on principle. Now that he is out of his cave, he is no longer bearing the weight for taking down Bush.

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