May 25th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
6 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. The Unshrub

    Maggie:

    People like you are why the republican party is dying. You consider anyone who disagrees with you as scum. Power fought for this country, were as Cheney and Limbaugh only use their big mouths. Power has more decency in one of his toes than Cheney and Limbaugh have in their entire being combined.

    May 25, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Tbone85

    Maggie thinks Colin Powell war hero , national leader, statesman is SCUM merely because he disagrees with the far right? The Republican Party best hope she doesn't speak for a significant portion of the base, or else their slide may become permanent. If you really believe the core of America thinks it's ok to call mainstream Americans and veterans scum if they dare disagree with some extremist orthodoxy, then the party is LOST.

    May 25, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. JD

    I'll put my money on Cheney and Limbaugh. Powell's actions betray a distinct bias in favor of no agenda apart from his own and that of the Democrats. It's time Powell did the GOP a favor and joined the Arlen Specter club.

    May 25, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Gary

    Although I like diversity of oppinion including Rush's and Cheney's, I tend to favor the more moderate elements of both parties...So I'm going to go with Gen. Powell. Wish he would run for President!

    I do a little bit worry about our safety. For instance, maybe I just worry a little that closing Gitmo is more about doing the politically correct thing rather than the logical thing. Lets fix Gitmo and keep it open, maybe even move other terrorists there from our state side prisons. It's like I don't want President Obama to torture....unless he really really has too. I wanna know that he would do anything necessary to protect American and innocent americans. Even things that the Europeans don't like. I guess I don't agree with Cheney mostly but I like the discussion he is stimulating.

    May 25, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Ask not what big business can do for you but what can you do for big business

    Cheney and Limbaugh are member of the coalition of conservative socialists. This means that they believe big business should receive government funds like the Bush Paulson giveaway back in the fall. They are also both defenders of excessive executive pay and actually believe that incompetent CEOs are truly worth 50 million a year and that taxing them is redistribution of wealth, how dumb can they be?

    May 25, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    As an ex-republican, I have seen why many would leave the GOP. I voted for Reagan and belonged to the Young Republicans. BUT, I believe the GOP has failed America! Steele, Cheny, Limbaugh and other so-called conservatives have made it plain that America needs more "real men" like Powell, but instead, we have young-boys-in-old-men's bodies trying to get us to trust them again!

    I voted for Obama, because Mr. Obama stands with and for helping people and treating them with dignity and as intelligent human beings.

    Mr. Powell, the GOP isn't worth saving!

    May 25, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Jay

    One winner taking on two losers.

    May 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. mimi

    The party will never be destroying by neather of this people.
    If the economy is not recover the mayority of americans will vote Republicas. At this rate, it look the posibilities are very high.
    Americans have very short memories according to their paquets $.
    Since we are in a big economic problem, werever, CNN said about the republican party are wront. It is the economy stupid.

    May 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. J.L.L. Indiana

    The majority of republicans continue to stand firmly behind Cheney and Limbaugh. I can't stop laughing.

    May 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    Maggie dearest, intelligence just isn't your strength...so sorry.

    May 25, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. gottlieb schittenfahrt

    Powell is a respected general with a long record of accomplishment. Cheney is little more than a political hack who did his part to leave this country in ruin and Limbaugh is little more than a shameless self-promoter. Hence the public's greater approval of Powell over the other two,

    May 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Rich from Pholly

    Look at who says the R.s need to change–Ridge and Powell–both war veterans who served their coutry honorably. Who likes the status quo–five deferrment draft dodger Dick Cheney and Rush L., who's only publiuc service was being arraigned for abusing prescription drugs. Looks like a recipe for the R.'s being margialized forever.

    May 25, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. skyhawkdriver

    As a life long republican and a strong supporter of general powell I can say that I will continue to support him even though he supported obama,which I did not...I have no use at all for rush lumblubber and even less for cheney..it is my hope that powell will run for public office and will open some eyes in the republican party..the party needs to become color blind and needs to make an effort to welcome ALL PEOPLE..unfortunatly both parties are full of anti gay and racists..if the republican party doesn't moderate it's views soon it will die a very rapid death

    May 25, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. desertdad

    I'll put my money on Powell.

    May 25, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Mark

    Limbaugh frequently has some good points, but he fails to do what he preaches. An overweight, drug addicted, rude aging man who cant keep a marriage longer than a week should not be the "face" of Conservatism. BTW, Conservativism means the conservative (ie restrained) application of government... not enforcing drug and religious ideology with more government. Limbaugh would do more good if he started preaching true Conservative ideals and personal empowerment, instead of letting his ego ego overshadow the cause. Id appreciate it if he spent more time highlighting the positives of more personal responsibility and less government, while spending less time talking about how "evil" Obama is. I cant even turn on Conservative talk radio anymore – its all anger and hate.

    May 25, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Military4OBAMA

    YES, I am in the military, President O is a transitional leader and General Powell has more integrity than Cheney, who I consider worst than Hitler. The GOP will become irrelevant in 2010, by the end of the summer sulticed the GOP will become a fractured and splintered party. The GOP doesn't take orders from Black men or any other ethnicity, Steel, Powell, Obama, the GOP is a "white only party"!

    May 25, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. TomfromNJ1

    The GOP wants everyone to vote for them every 4 years, but doe not even want to acknowledge those who are not lockstep when ideas are debated. Why would anyone being rejected now ever vote for the Republican candidate in 2012. Most of us do not want to be where we are not wanted. That is NOT a big tent.

    Learn from the Democrats. Lieberman was much more of a turncoat. He went from being on the ticket to going independent, to campaigning for McCain, and they still welcomed him back to their caucus. Depending on what happens in MN, that could be the deciding vote to give Obama a filibuster proof senate. It pays to be inclusive. Gen. Powell would be that, but Limbaugh and Cheney would prefer holding a grudge to winning

    May 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Ron

    Rush Limbaugh is the " Prophet of Doom " of America.

    Like Cheney he dodged the military.
    And he has more qualifications than Cheney.
    3 times divorced.
    Drug addict.
    He has only hate to offer to others.

    Rgds
    Ron

    May 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Lori

    I find it funny that Republicans consider Powell a 'traitor' but Hillary defecters were welcome with open arms during the last election. Give me a break, Repugs. Powell is a hero and it's a shame that YOUR President Bush and his administration threw him under the bus and tarnished his honorable image with the fake intelligence presented to the U.N. Good going. Thank God you guys are out of power. You keep your drug attack, womanizing Limbaugh with his so-called 'conservative family values' and we'll take Powell.

    May 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. susie

    When Powell voted for Obama he showed that race is more important than being a Republican.

    May 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Lu King

    Who cares what Powell thinks? He is just another RINO.

    Cheney and Limbaugh are telling the truth, but the blind refuse to see.
    Some day you liberals will wake up and say, "What happened ?"
    Even Rome lasted longer than we will.

    God bless America and the military.....we need it.

    May 25, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Jan

    Does anyone else find it interesting that Dick Cheney blasts Colin Powell, who supported Democrat Barack Obama instead of the 2008 Republican candidate; but not Rush Limbaugh, who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton instead of the 2008 Republican candidate?

    Can Republicans be serious about letting these buffoons and political cancers run their Party?

    General Powell is like General Eisenhower - a political voice who transcends politics. The GOP has lost its collective mind if they are casting aside Powell as a Party leader, for the voices of Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney.

    Just my opinion... but I'm one of those who sincerely HOPE for CHANGE from having to listen to Dick Cheney's voice ever again.

    May 25, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Peter

    Does the Republican Party still exists? or should I call it the party of the old Caucasian male dominated!!. It will take another two decades to revive the GOP. Your worst enemy is Rush Limbaugh! whenever he opens his baggy mouth twenty young republicans turns independent! Keep up the good job Rush!!!!!

    May 25, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. John E Lexington KY

    Let Limbough (the unprosecuted felon) and Cheney (the war profiteer and criminal) vie for the 30% of the country that is brain dead, Powell indeed should leave and should never have joined the Republican Party. He should have been Clinton's Sec. of State (he turned it down) and disgraced himself when he let Bush use him in every damaging way possible. He's still the best of them, which isn't saying a lot. He may be the last meaningful Republican. The party destroyed itself when faced with Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans. Let it wash out to sea and sink, Powell with it if he so chooses.

    May 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Nestor, Austin, TX

    This "Big Tent" garbage needs to stop. The big tent is freedom. Economic freedom. Freedom from excessive taxes and excessive government spending. Freedom from government interference in the day-to-day activities of average Americans. Republicans need to promote that. If they promote personal and economic freedom and cut taxes and spending, the tent will grow on it's own. They won't have to 'entice' moderates, the moderates flock to the GOP. You don't grow the tent by being more like the Democrats. You grow the tent by sticking to your principles and convictions.

    May 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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