>> Monday, September 1, 2008
digby was responding to poll numbers regarding Sarah Palin and the fact that people did not seem to care about that. I covered those numbers in my earlier post. I interpreted that to mean people dont make logical connections and answer off the top of their heads leading to conflicting statements. This was digby's interpretation:
One can only conclude that a lot of people think that naming an unqualified person for VP speaks well of McCain's decision making. Should we call this the "Cheney effect" --- a desire to put the Vice President back in a ceremonial role after eight years of having a puppeteer behind the scenes pulling the president's strings? Or are they just Republican fools?
It brings up an interesting question, is there such a Cheney effect? I suspect not. I do not think people much care about the VP beyond the extent that they could end up President. People do not know what the VP does everyday. When Sarah Palin made that statement she was laughed at but you know what? i doubt more than 5% of the US could give you a good idea of what the VP actually does every day.
I could be wrong though. Questions about Cheney's job performance are regularly asked as is peoples opinions of him. As of August 18th Cheney was viewed very negatively by 40% of those polled and 15% view him somewhat negatively. Compare this to 7% very positive and 18% somewhat. This is very much in line with his job approval rating in june 18% good and 75% bad. People have a personal dislike for Cheney and think he sucks at his job. What these numbers are not telling us is why. Do they know what he is supposed to be doing? I suspect that he is simply catching flak because he is a major part of the Bush administration and even if people dont know exactly what he is supposed to be doing they can tell he sucks at his job.
So we know that people do not like Cheney. Does this really tell us anything about the office though? Does the dislike for Cheney transfer into a dislike for the office and a desire to see its power reduced? In May of 2007 Harris conducted a poll all about Cheney. It gives us some insight into this question. 38% of people felt that the office of the VP was too powerful and 38% did not. You may be able to tell that that is only 76%, meaning that 24% had no opinion. We need to look at the cross tabs to get a clearer picture.
Dems and Independents come in very close to each other on the question of whether or not Cheney is too powerful. Dems at 49% and Indys at 46% with each category having only 28% say he is not too powerful. that is 2-1 saying that Cheney is too powerful. These numbers are decidedly different with the GOP. Only 20% of Republicans felt he was too powerful compared to 60% who felt he was not. That is a pretty big split. However it does not support the Cheney effect as being evident in the numbers digby was looking at.
We know from other polls that the Republicans are going to be far more likely to view her as a legitimate pick
Conservatives have a favorable impression of her by a 79-8 margin, but this falls to 43-35 among moderates and 26-46 among liberals. Likewise, by a 48-22 margin, conservatives think she's ready to be President, but she loses this question 23-54 among moderates and 9-67 among liberals.
So we have the people who think Cheney is not too powerful also heavily in favor of Palin. This leads me to believe that overall there is not going to be a Cheney Effect where the populace is clamoring for a less powerful vice president and glad to see McCain picking a person more inclined to accept a less powerful role.