Shooting not affecting vice president’s popularity

The vice president of the United States shooting someone has no measurable effect on his favorability rating, analysts of a new GW-sponsored poll said last week.

Following a hunting accident last month in which he shot someone in the face, Vice President Dick Cheney’s favorable/unfavorable rating had no major change, Republican pollster Ed Goeas said. The vice president’s favorable/unfavorable rate is 42 percent/51 percent while President Bush received a 45 percent favorable/53 percent unfavorable rating.

Battleground 2006, a mid-term, bipartisan election poll sponsored by GW, is conducted by polling firms Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group. Results of the poll data were analyzed by Goeas of the Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Associates. The poll’s information was collected from 1,000 likely voters between 2004 and last month and presented Thursday at the National Press Club building in downtown D.C.

With the next presidential election still two years away, Battleground 2006 poll results show that Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has higher approval ratings than the leading possible Democratic candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

“Clinton just needs to get herself out there,” Lake said. “It’s what she did in New York, and after this year’s senatorial race, it’s what she’ll need to do in America.”

The poll, which has been sponsored by GW since 2004, is in its 15th year and also questioned likely voters on this November’s congressional elections.

According to poll data, Democrats have a five-point lead in favorability over Republicans for the upcoming congressional and gubernatorial elections nationwide. This follows what Lake said is known as the “sixth-year itch” trend. During a two-term presidency, voters traditionally tend to depart from voting for the majority party in Congress in the midterm election during a president’s second term.

“The outcome of the election will be based on who comes out with more intensity and who comes out with the better campaign,” Goeas said.

For congressional – issues including strengthening Social Security, improving the economy and improving education – congressional Democrats are favored over both Bush and congressional Republicans, poll data showed.

Security remains the sole major issue poll participants feel that Republicans in Congress are better prepared to handle. Forty-eight percent believe that Bush would do a better job of handling Iraq than congressional Democrats, while 45 percent think Democrats would do better.

One thing the majority of likely voters, 64 percent, agreed on in the poll was that both parties are at fault for problems in Congress.

“The tone that has been set is not anti-Republican,” Goeas said. “It is not anti-Democrat, it is anti-Washington.”

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