Poll: Favorable opinions of Cheney rise

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism Thursday.
As Dick Cheney prepares to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism, a new national poll suggests that favorable opinions of the former vice president are on the rise.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Thursday morning, indicates that a majority of Americans still have an unfavorable opinion of Cheney. Fifty-five percent of people questioned in the poll say they have an unfavorable opinion of the former vice president. Thirty-seven percent say they have a favorable opinion of Cheney, up 8 percentage points from January when he left office. In the past two months, the former vice president has become a frequent critic of the new administration in numerous national media interviews. “Is Cheney’s uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration Almost certainly not,” says Keating Holland, CNN polling director. “Former President George W. Bush’s favorable rating rose 6 points in that same time period, and Bush has not given a single public speech since he left office.”

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The poll suggests that 41 percent of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the former president, with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably. The survey’s release comes just a few hours before Cheney speaks out Thursday on the war against terror during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank. Sources tell CNN that the former vice president is expected to defend the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror and challenge the Obama administration’s attempt to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. 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.