Majority of GOP insiders say Cheney hurting party

A poll of Republican operatives finds that they believe the former vice president's sudden outspokenness isn't helping them.

Published May 15, 2009 3:30PM (EDT)

Every so often, the National Journal polls political insiders, Republican and Democrat, to gauge how the people in the best position to know are feeling about the issues of the day. The latest poll has come up with an interesting -- if not all that surprising -- result: A majority of the GOP insiders surveyed believe that former Vice President Dick Cheney has hurt their party since he left office.

In all, 57 percent of respondents said Cheney has hurt the GOP, while 33 percent said he's helped it. A total of ten percent didn't answer either way; five percent said he'd had no effect, and five percent said either "both" or "don't know."

The people who were polled are no pikers, either. Mary Matalin and Gary Bauer are on the list, for instance, as are, among others, Fergus Cullen, the former head of the New Hampshire GOP, Ken Duberstein, once chief of staff to President Reagan and Charlie Black, who was a top advisor to John McCain last year.

The GOP's activist base, meanwhile, has maintained not only that Cheney has been helping the party but that media accounts of Republicans concerned about the former vice president's entry into the media spotlight are just so much liberal bias.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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