America loves Dick Cheney

A new poll shows the former vice president's favorability rating climbing.

By Alex Koppelman
Published May 21, 2009 2:35PM (EDT)

All of a sudden, people seem to like former Vice President Dick Cheney. Oh, sure, most Americans still don't hold the man in high regard, but at a time when he's suddenly become more visible than he was at times during his term in office, his favorability in one poll has gone up.

In a new CNN poll, 37 percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the former vice president, compared to 55 percent who said they have an unfavorable opinion of him. That's not exactly going to win him any popularity contests any time soon, but it's a significant difference from the last time CNN asked the question, just before the end of the Bush administration. At the time, just 29 percent of respondents said their opinion of him was favorable, while 58 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him.

It might appear that the rise in Cheney's numbers is due to his recent outspokenness, but CNN's polling director, Keating Holland, says he doesn't think that's the case.

"Is Cheney's uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration? Almost certainly not," Holland says. "Former President George W. Bush's favorable rating rose six points in that same time period, and Bush has not given a single public speech since he left office."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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