Voters Not as Enthralled With Kennedy Endorsement as Media

Journalists were giddy with excitement last week over Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama, but a Rasmussen poll taken in the days afterward, which FNC's Brit Hume highlighted early Tuesday night, discovered more said the endorsement made them less likely than more likely to back Obama. Hume relayed how “34 percent of Democrats surveyed said Kennedy's support would make them less likely to vote for Obama. Thirty-three percent said it had no impact. Only 30 percent said it would make them more likely to support the Illinois Senator.” And “if you throw in the Republicans and independents with the Democrats, the endorsement looks even more damaging” with 46 percent saying “the Kennedy nod makes them less likely to support Obama” and only 16 percent saying it made them more likely to vote for Obama.

The night of the endorsement, ABC's David Wright adopted campaign slogans as he enthused about how “today the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny. The Kennedy clan anointed Barack Obama a son of Camelot.” NBC's Lee Cowan radiated over how “the endorsement brought the Kennedy mystique to this campaign, not in a whisper, but a roar.”

Hume's lead “Grapevine” item on the February 5 Special Report with Brit Hume about the national poll of 1,000 conducted January 30-31 for Washington, DC's Fox station, WTTG-TV, and the Washington Times:
Could Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama actually backfire and cost the candidate votes? A new Rasmussen national poll indicates that 34 percent of Democrats surveyed said Kennedy's support would make them less likely to vote for Obama. Thirty-three percent said it had no impact. Only 30 percent said it would make them more likely to support the Illinois Senator.

Now, if you throw in the Republicans and independents with the Democrats, the endorsement looks even more damaging. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said the Kennedy nod makes them less likely to support Obama. Thirty-four percent said it had no impact. Only 16 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Obama.
Tuesday's Washington Times article on the survey, “Kennedy delivers little to Obama,” by Stephen Dinan.

My January 28 NewsBusters item, “'Mystique' Means 'Audacity of Hope' Has 'Rendezvous with Destiny,'” recounted:
The broadcast network anchors and reporters were almost as giddy as Barack Obama over liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy's endorsement of the presidential candidate. ABC, CBS and NBC all led Monday night with it and ABC's David Wright adopted campaign slogans as he enthused about how “today the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny. The Kennedy clan anointed Barack Obama a son of Camelot.” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric teased, “Passing the torch: Barack Obama is tapped as the candidate to continue the Kennedy legacy.” NBC's Lee Cowan, who earlier this month conceded “it's almost hard to remain objective” when covering Obama, showed he also has a soft spot for the Kennedys as he radiated over how “the endorsement brought the Kennedy mystique to this campaign, not in a whisper, but a roar.” Viewers then got a soundbite of Kennedy yelling during the event at American University.

With “New Son of Camelot” on screen over video of Obama and Ted Kennedy, Nightline anchor Terry Moran trumpeted the “new son of Camelot. Ted and Caroline Kennedy pass the torch to Barack Obama to carry the legacy of JFK.” Moran soon hailed how “the political world was transfixed by the spectacle of the most powerful Democratic family of the 20th century christening a new torch bearer for the 21st.” David Wright repeated his “the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny” line before championing the “merging ideals from two different eras” as “Obama is now an adopted son of Camelot.”...
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center