May 25th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
3 months ago

CNN Poll: Powell vs. Cheney and Limbaugh

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Colin Powell fires back against Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh in the latest skirmish in the battle over the future of the Republican Party, a new national poll indicates that Americans have a much more favorable opinion of Powell than Cheney or Limbaugh.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, suggests that 70 percent have a favorable opinion of Powell, who was Secretary of State during President George W. Bush's first term, and who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War.

Only 30 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Limbaugh, the popular conservative radio talk show host, with 53 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.

In poll numbers released Thursday, 37 percent say they have a favorable opinion of Dick Cheney, with 55 percent indicating they hold an unfavorable view of the former vice president.

Among Republicans, it's a different story. The poll suggests that 66 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Cheney, 64 percent give Powell a thumbs up, and 62 view Limbaugh in a favorable way.

In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Powell dismissed attacks from Cheney and Limbaugh, saying they are "not members of the membership committee of the Republican Party."

"Rush will not get his wish, and Mr. Cheney was misinformed. I am still a Republican," he said. "I would like to point out that in the course of my 50 years of voting for presidents, I have voted for the person I thought was best qualified at that time to lead the nation. Last year, I thought it was President Barack Obama. For the previous 20 years, I voted solidly for Republican candidates."

Earlier this month on the same program, Cheney was asked about a dispute between Limbaugh and Powell over the role each plays in the GOP. "My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican," Cheney responded.

Limbaugh also fired away at Powell this month, saying on his program that "what Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party."

Could Colin Powell be a leader of the moderate wing of the GOP?

"Moderate Republicans fighting back against Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. They're ready to rumble. And they've got a soldier to lead them," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Colin Powell • Dick Cheney • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Powell is in a completely different class from Cheney and Limbaugh. To compare a true hero who embodies the best virtues of our nation with a greedy, vicious war criminal and a parasitic, drug-addled clown is insulting.

    May 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Eric

    Maggie, beyond your vulgar language and your complete lack of arguments in a discussion, what you say does not make any sense. The poll shows that more than 60% of Republicans have a good opinion of Powel. So are you admitting to us you hang out only with the bottom 40% who have no respect for a war hero. And if you consider only 20% of US population identify themselves as Republicans, so 40% X 20%= 8 %, so you are telling us, basically, that you only surrender yourself with people within 8% of the population in general. And then, you wonder why you are so stupid and bigot. Open yourself a bit.

    May 25, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. No Ones Home Boy

    Keep this in mind...Public service is just that – SERVING THE PUBLIC. General Powell, Secretary Ridge, The President have all served admirably as they have not used their positions as a trough for profit.
    How much money has Cheney added to his coffers with the Haliburton and KBR no-bid contracts? Limbaugh has supposedly 20 million listeners. His rhetoric translates to big bucks. If he can do a 360 and make more money, I am sure he will.

    May 25, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Michele

    And still the Bush minions support the liar and thug Cheney and the oh-not-so entertaining Rush. It's almost as if they hope we ARE attacked soon so they can say "Told you so." For if we are not, if Obama's plans do actually work, then whatever will Rush and Cheney have to complain about?
    I also do not understand the whole abortion argument with them. It's OK to kill people we disagree with with assault weapons; it's now OK to carry concealed weapons in state parks that will kill someone; it's OK to torture someone who may or may not have any information we need, but not, presumably, OK for them to torture US; it's OK but sad when a man kills his family with a gun; it's OK to have the death penalty even when we know innocent people are killed. But heaven forbid a woman is raped and pregnant and so despondent that she wants to kill herself because "Abortion is murder."
    Guess what, Republicans? The deaths in Iraq are murder too. The deaths at Gitmo at the hands of our troops were murder.
    Evil in the name of good is still EVIL.

    May 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Neilz

    I agree with just about everything Powell had to say, especially to Cheney and Limbaugh. But I strongly disagree with his assessment of the American People. Powell said, "...nobody would have forgave us" if they had not tortured and another attack occurred. We counted on our leaders, people like Powell, to uphold this country's fundamental principles and adhere to the rule of law. He failed us. Cheney failed us. Bush failed us. They lied and conspired against everything this country stands for because they were cowards. They were, and are, defeated by the enemy. They brought us the disrespect of the international community and destroyed the Republican Party in the process. After his interview, I'm glad he never became President.

    May 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Mark

    The GOP is not in disarray-the Democatic party is. Look at the mess we are in since the Dems took power, and look at the conflicts that happened since Obama took office. And please: the Bush blame game ended on Jan 20 at 12:01 PM-that argument is as old as my car.
    So keep printing these stories. I will simply say: see you in 2010.

    May 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Seattle Girl

    Wow! The Republicans are bigger idiots than I ever imagined!! Who in their right mind would choose to support Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney over Gen. Powell. General Powell has more class in his pinkie finger than Rush or Dick could ever hope to have. Gen. Powell has been faithfully serving his country all his life and all Rush Limbaugh has done is to incite hate and divide this country. And Dick Cheney sold his country out for a quick buck. Neither of these men are fit to shine Gen. Powell's boots......and the people who support them should be ashamed of themselves.

    May 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Powell is a turncoat and NOT a Republican

    If Colin Powell were quarterback for a football team, he'd run the ball into the opposing team's end zone every chance he got to help them score and win the game. Colin Powell does not belong in any debate about the future of the GOP – he is a turncoat traitor and a Democrat who played the race card instead of supporting his supposed party. Take a hike Powell, the GOP does not need you and does not want you.

    May 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Dave in Dayton

    I used to consider myself an Independent, but voted for McCain in the 200 primaries. Over the past 8 years, the Republicans and their hardline far right, "my way or no way" attitude spewed by the likes of Cheney, Rush "Jabba The Hut" Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coultier all forced me to move closer to the left...just as I think many people have.

    Young people of the US simply find Cheny and Limbaugh too polarizing...and if their so-called agenda ends up defining the Republican Party, so be it. People like Megan McCain (and to some extent, her father) better define the values of what the Republicans need to become in the future. As long as the Repubs define themselves by such extreme spokespeople, they will continue to marginalize the Repubs. If they don't get their act together, chances are they will split the party with more moderates forming a new party...maybe that's what America needs: A conservative party that is inclusive.

    I always considered Colin Powell a great hero for America, a man of reason and conscience. And yes, he is what I would call a Republican...not an extremist.

    May 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Richard L

    Colin Powell's favorable percentage is higher than Limbaugh and Cheney ADDED together. It should be higher. Integrity is worth more than that.

    May 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Nancy

    The Democratic Party does not have to waste time competing with the Republican Party. They are imploding from within. Such statesman of the party such as General Colin Powell are the ONLY hope of a resurgence of the Republican Party. Rush is a blowheart that finds great pleasure in saying nasty things. He has never done anything for this country. Cheney is even worse because he was in a position to lead this country, and used our soldiers and their families as pawns in his quest for power, and to fulfill his paranoid neocon ideas. He is just flat out scary!

    May 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Jaxson

    I'll bet Gen. Powell is regretting ever leaving the Democratic party. The grass wasn't greener!

    May 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Karen - Missouri

    There's no contest. Powell is the REAL Republican and human being, Limbaugh and Cheney are just more whiners, haters, obstructionists. People like Limbaugh and Cheney are why so many, especially us independents, who ran like helx away from ANY Republican candidates and will in the future. Limbaugh is just a sensationalist media guy who pops pills and Cheney is just an oilman and big corporate (Haliburton) bigwig who is stupid. Give me Colin Powell any day!

    May 25, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. antillian

    To Bonnie:

    please let me know where you live i need to move as quickly as possible.. scary that holy warrior stuff.....very scary.

    May 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Dave in Dayton

    I used to consider myself an Independent, but voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries. Over the past 8 years, the Republicans and their hardline far right, "my way or no way" attitude spewed by the likes of Cheney, Rush "Jabba The Hut" Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coultier all but forced me to move closer to the left...just as I think many people have.

    Young people of the US simply find Cheny and Limbaugh too polarizing...and if their so-called agenda ends up defining the Republican Party, so be it. People like Megan McCain (and to some extent, her father) better define the values of what the Republicans need to become in the future. As long as the Repubs define themselves by such extreme spokespeople, they will continue to marginalize the party. If they don't get their act together soon, chances are they will split the party with more moderates forming a new party...maybe that's what America needs: A conservative party that is truly inclusive, and not a bunch of rich, stodgy old white people that like to use the bully pulpit, and denounce anyone who doesn't agree with every idea.

    I've always considered Colin Powell a great hero for America, a man of reason and conscience. And yes, he is what I would call a Republican...not an extremist. He's what the Republicans should strive to be...not the likes of Cheney and Slimebaugh.

    May 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Susan

    Cheney is a worthless twit!

    May 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Jim

    As a moderate Republican who voted for a Democrat for president for the first time in my 59 years, I'm ready to go to war against the crazy right-wing religious zealots who have hijacked my party. General Powell is the perfect leader to lead this army.

    May 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Buddy Gilmour

    Rush says Powell voted for Obama because Obama is Black. Powell says he voted for Obama because Obama was the better candidate, a view that the majority of voters (and very many Republicans) shared. I say Rush hates Powell and Obama because they are Black, and thats something that I think deep down inside everybody knows about Rush, that he and his followers are die-hard racists. Apparently thats OK with Rove.

    May 25, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Retired US Army Officer - Kansas

    General Colin Powell former Chief of Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, under Gerorge HW Bush, and William J Clinton, has absolutely nothing that he needs to prove anyone. General Powell has more integrity and professioanlism in his little finger than Cheney and Limbaugh have mustered between themselves. If they beleive General Powell should call him self a Democrat, I would recommend that the two of them if they wish to pass themselves off as pro-defense, get off they collectively large behinds and do something that they have never done, service the nation in uniform. They have a proud history of CHICKEN HAWKS.

    May 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. GOP Disaster

    Willy Brown Powell voted by colour.

    He voted on the content of Obama's caricature which is why the GOP will be a regional party if continues to race bait. Quit living in the past.

    May 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Han

    Cheney hides for 8 years while he was acting Vice-President and now he speaks up about people he doesn't like? All I remember Cheney doing in the news is spew hate propaganda, shoot his friend in a face thinking he was a quail!, and undergo heart bypass, that's it! He needs to just shut up and leave us (the country) alone!

    Limbaugh is just full of hate. Everything the man says is negative so why do people listen to him?

    Mr. Powell has always been respectful. It's sad that he has to defend himself from attacks by these two jerks.

    May 25, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Bacchus

    Maggie....... its the neocon unabashed hatred like people like you that are turning people like me who have voted Republican the majority of our lives into independents... Get over yourself. I consider Dick Cheney a war criminal. How anyone can call a military man like Powell scum shows just how low rent you are dearie

    May 25, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. jrzshor

    so democrate's like powell a liberal moderate non conservative repbulican while hating non-liberal non moderate conservative republicans.

    i'm confused. aren't all republicans NOT democrates?

    May 25, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Wanza

    Powell is a war hero, the other guys are just big mouths. Americans are correct in choosing Powell

    May 25, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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