May 25th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
7 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. Ruty

    Cheney and Limbaugh are swine. Powell has class. Line all three up together and see if Powell isn't the only one who has any class or dignity. The GOP is lucky to have him. Come on over Mr. Powell–we would welcome you with open arms.

    May 25, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. David O.

    The Republican Party is defeating itself....let em go!

    May 25, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Dalton

    Cheney and Limbaugh are destroying the party that great men like Lincoln helped build.

    When will these loudmouths realize that the party needs to expand its membership and regional appeal in order to remain a viable political option.

    So long as small minded, petty, fear and hate mongering people like Limbaugh, Cheney and Gingrich are seen as the face of the GOP we will forever be forced to stand on the sidelines yelling to get our message of fiscal responsibility and small government out while the Democrats keep winning election after election.

    Lastly, can we stop allowing the evangelical right from dictating the direction of our party. I am a christian and a republican and these folks scare the heck out of me

    May 25, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Clark NYC

    Powell voted for Obama during the election... He isn't leading a thing in the republican pary

    May 25, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Moderately Moderate

    This poll shows the wisdom of the American people.

    Sadly, in the GOP today we are just killing ourselves!

    is it any wonder the country doesn't trust us when Cheney and Limbaugh are the faces of the Republican Party?

    Colin Powell is a thoughtful, smart guy who has given a great deal of able service to his country.

    Cheney and Limbaugh, on the other hand, have done nothing but tear down American ideals of honesty, integrity, tolerance and the rule of law. If THAT is Republicanism, I don't want any part of it. And neither will good people like Gen. Powell.

    May 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    Powell voted by colour.

    May 25, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. jeff

    Lemme guess.....the poll was of CNN's "vast" audience of viewers.

    May 25, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Maggie

    Powell is scum. He doesn't speak for anyone. he needs to go back and stick his head up obama where it belongs.
    I don't know one Republican who cares about this bag of scum.

    May 25, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Dennis of Millbrae, CA

    The article says some 60+% of Republicans support Cheney, Powell, and Limbaugh, but since the number of people who claim (admit?) to being Republicans is now in the mid-30% range, then we're talking a pretty small percentage of Americans who support these three. I am surprised and disappointed that Colin Powell, whose service credentials to this country are impeccable, is rated by Republican respondents about the same as Cheney and Limbaugh. I have read many posts in recent days from obvious Republicans saying the only reason Powell endorsed President Obama was because Obama is black. Form the poll numbers in this article, one can only conclude many Republicans do not like Powell simply because he is black, and ergo, the only reason they don't like President Obama is because he is black. In other words, most of the Republican base are racists.

    May 25, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Cheney is a coward war-monger; Limbaugh is just plain nuts.

    These two are dangerous.

    May 25, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Melissa

    The Republican party is dying a slow and agonizing death due to their own behavior. I predict that we will see the party split before we hit the two year mark of Obama's administration.

    May 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. dustbunny

    The only loud mouths and swine as you people call them are your selfs. Ruty you are a big swine your self. David O keep right on thinking that, you might be very surprised one day.

    May 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    We you give a "thumbs up" to Cheney just think of the thousands of dead and wounded Americans as a result of the war in Iraq; a war contrived by Cheney, Bush and Rummey.

    May 25, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. bill

    golly miss daisy I have no idea why the republican party is a wall street/banking/investment/rich white man's party with spokesmen(?) like this. i do pray they are still there in 4 years to help their party or was that find help for their party.???

    May 25, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Bonnie

    The Devil and his General's walk among us spewing their evil, but the devil is a LIAR. NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

    May 25, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. dreamer

    Goes to show how devided the RNC is.top two only hold 20% at best and I just don't see that even.Truely Powell hold more esteam from the party members then both combined and RNC should note only one truely holds his head up in service to this great country of ours.Think a few times on who represents our country in the best way for ALL in this country.Time for change for the republican party too...as well as some of the dems who still cling to the old way of doing busseness in the name of the people.To Oboma you have twice broken your promise to hold bill's for 5 days and get public imput on them same bills.The gun mesure should have been debated by more folks then the limited one's(friends of the NRA) then what it was.Cost you a vote next election.

    May 25, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Greg

    As a Veteran who is still serving and served under Powell's tour as Chair of the Joint Chiefs I have nothing but respect for the man. In the military we use many of his writings in our leadership training. Cheney has never demonstrated any leadership in my mind and Rush
    s style of leadership would lead to a revolt. Hmmmm honorably serving war veteran or two draft dodging windbags who care nothing for the troops easy choice! As to Powell's reasoning for voting for Obama perhaps he thought he was the best choice as McCain caved on all of his principles to appease the extreme right who quickly turned on him. I have voted across the aisle for the best man even though I consider myself a democrat.

    May 25, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Bonnie

    Maggie, sweetie, it's President Obama, so suck it up, just like we did when it was President Bush. Get your head out of Rush's a– , and get with the program, it is what it is.

    May 25, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Jesse Callahan

    I will always stand 100% behind a four star General and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. All that pompus blowhard limbaugh does is polute the air with his hatred.

    Jesse in Texas

    May 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Mike from Vancouver BC

    Polls! ha!
    I wonder how the same poll would do with Fox viewers.

    May 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Marc , from Crawford ,TX

    The funny things with people like Limbaugh, is the talk the talk but they dont walk the walk.
    I say, rushy, if you are that smart, if you are the Rethuglican saviour, why don't you run for office next time ??? It's far better than whining and at least we, the american people will judge you. It's so easy to hide behind a microphone and spread hate. Let's see how you perform in an election.

    May 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Wanda

    Who does these polls???? I'm 56 years old and I've never been asked. I must not be on THE LIST!!!!

    May 25, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Jesse Callahan

    I will also add that I joined the service in January 1942 at the beginning of our entry into WWII. I remained in the service for 21 years before retiring due to the Viet Nam fiasco that I did not believe in.

    I served another 20 years in contract work for NASA Manned Space Flight Program.

    What has limbaugh to offer?

    Jesse in Texas

    May 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Marc , from Crawford ,TX

    and by the way, Cheney was lining behind Rumsfeld when he wanted only 50 000 troops for the Iraq invasion. If it wasn't for Colin Powell, the situation there would have been far worst ! Between Dicky , Rushy and a 4 star general, my choici is pretty clear

    May 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Carmichael Beljackson

    I can't believe that anyone in their right mind would think that rush(rusty the clown) limbaugh and richard (the dick) cheney are fit to be
    compared with Colin Powell,those three minus one stooges are not in
    the same class or the same league as Colin Powell.

    One other thing.
    I know why michael (toby,the house negro) steele said that President
    Obama was not vetted because he's black. You see steele is jealous
    of Obama, he wanted to be the first black american president so that
    he would be a popular figure in the African American community but
    now that Obama has beaten him to the white house he felt his dreams were robbed, poor mikey now he's stuck with his sucky job
    as chairman,a job he hates.That's why he's busy being the fool for the
    republicans like chiken george was a fool for slave owners.

    May 25, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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