- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2008


“How concerned are you that just two families — the Bush family and the Clinton family — have controlled the White House over the past 20 years?” the latest Fox 5/The Washington Times/Rasmussen Reports poll asked recently. Well, just 15 percent of respondents said they are “not at all concerned.” But 28 percent said they are “very concerned” and 23 percent said they were “somewhat concerned.” Twenty-seven percent of the 1,000 adults polled Feb. 20-21 said they were “not very concerned.”

There was a significant gender gap on this issue, with 33 percent of men and 23 percent of women saying they are “very concerned” about this trend. This gender gap could prove troubling to Hillary Clinton as her support among men continues to slide. The poll also showed a racial gap, with 37 percent of blacks and 27 percent of whites answering that they are “very concerned,” about the Bush-Clinton presidential succession.

Interestingly, there was no major gap between self-identified Republicans and Democrats who said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned.” However, 32 percent of Republicans in the poll said they were “not very concerned” while just 24 percent of Democrats shared that view.

Another question yielded striking results. It seems the public holds the judgment of former Secretary of State Colin Powell in higher esteem than former presidents and even the current president. When provided a list of prominent names that included President Bush, Bill Clinton, Mr. Powell, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Al Gore, respondents were asked which of the men’s endorsements was “most likely to help you decide to support a political candidate.” Mr. Powell received the highest marks, with 22 percent of respondents selecting him as the one with the most sway. The next highest response, selected by 17 percent of respondents, was “none of the above,” followed by President Bush and Mr. Clinton tied for third place at 16 percent. Mr. Gore was next with 11 percent, who was two points ahead of Mr. Carter at 9 percent. The elder Mr. Bush trailed the pack, with 5 percent.

Does this suggest that for all their fuss about their post-term legacies most presidents have little influence with today’s voters? Seemingly. This should be some consolation to the casualties of the 2008 presidential race.

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