CBS Poll: Cheney Has Little Impact

Former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney is shown in this 1992 file photo with black border AP / CBS

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, George W. Bush's choice for the Republican vice-presidential nomination, is favorably regarded by voters, and most think he can be a good vice president. But, so far at least, his selection has had little impact on voter preference in the race for the White House.

CBS News reinterviewed a sample of voters first interviewed in a CBS News/New York Times poll July 20-23. Then, 46 percent said they would vote for Bush for president, and 40 percent said they would vote for Democrat Al Gore. Now, voter intentions are virtually unchanged; Bush leads Gore by 45 percent to 41 percent.

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PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE

  Now 7/24
Gore 41% 40%

Bush 45% 46%
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Nor has Cheney’s selection done much to boost views of Bush among voters. Forty-four pecent of registered voters had a favorable image of Bush earlier this week; now, 46 percent do. Sixty-six percent thought Bush had strong qualities of leadership, and 68 percent do now.

There is also little indication that the selection of Cheney has made much of an impact in the area of his strength - foreign policy. The percentage of voters who say they now have confidence in Bush's ability to handle an international crisis has not changed significantly as a result of Cheney’s selection – it was 46 percent earlier this week and is 48 percent now.

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BUSH HANDLING INTERNATIONAL CRISIS

  Now 7/24
Confidence 48% 46%

Uneasy 46% 44%
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THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL PICK

Despite his tenure in national office, few voters know enough about Cheney to have much of an impression of him – 52 percent haven#146;t heard enough to have an opinion. Twenty-eight percent of voters have a favorable image of him, 10 percent say they are unfavorable. In 1991 at the end of the Persian Gulf War, when Cheney figured more prominently in the nation’s attention, 60 percent of voters had a favorable view of him.

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IMAGE OF CHENEY

  Now March, 1991
Favorable 28% 60%

Not Favorable 10% 4%

Undecided 11% 10%

Haven’t heard enough 52% 26%
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Despite the fact that few voters know much about him, overall Cheney is viewed as a strong running mate for Bush. Sixty-one percent of voters think he has the right experience to be vice president. Thirty-nine percent of voters are glad Bush named Cheney as his running mate, and only 22 percent wish Bush had chosen someone else.

But few voters say his selection will impact their vote. Eighty-one percent of voters say that Bush’s naming of Cheney makes no difference to their vote. Eleven percent say they are more likely to vote for Bush, and 3 percent say they are less likely to do so. Among those who currently support Bush, 19 percent say they are more likely to do so as a result of the addition of Cheney to the ticket.

Enthusiasm among Bush supporters for their candidate has risen in the past few days, possibly as a result of Cheney’s selection and the upcoming Republican convention. Now, 48 percent of Bush supporters say they are enthusiastically supporting their candidate; earlier in the week, 40 percent said the same. But enthusiasm among Gore supporters has also climbed, from 35 percent to 42 percent now.

This poll was conducted by telephone July 27, 2000, among 417 registered voters previously interviewed July 20-23, 2000. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus five percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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