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Poll: Most Support Barring Burris from Senate


Roland Burris makes his case to the press today outside the Capitol building.(Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg News)

By Jon Cohen
According to a new national poll, most Americans side with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in the Democratic leadership's decision to bar Roland Burris from taking over Barack Obama's seat in the Senate, and a wide majority want the President-elect to steer clear of efforts to find his replacement.

Overall, 51 percent in the USA Today-Gallup poll said the Senate should block Burris from filling the now open seat, and opposition to his becoming the new junior senator from Illinois rises to 59 percent among those paying close attention to the controversy swarming around his selection by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Those who are focused on the issue are also more apt to say Obama should have little or no involvement in what happens with his former position.

Republicans are the most likely to want the Senate to reject Burris as Obama's replacement; they are also more apt than Democrats to want a special election to settle the matter. Among all poll respondents, 52 percents said they would prefer to see the situation resolved by a new election.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 6, 2009; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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Next: Sharpton: No Race Card from Burris

Comments

I agree with the polls that the majority don't want a Blagojevich appointed underwhelming career politician as Senator. However, the lack of leadership by Senators (Sen. Reid), racial posturing by Rep Rush and others, and failure to anticipate and address the Senate appointment process by Illinois' officials make all the professional politicians in this process look pathetic, including Burris. Has he ever heard of the phrase "pity date"?

If Illinois law and Senate rules require seating Mr. Burris, then they should do so, regardless of polls. Grab your whatevers and make a decision. If they can't handle this in a day, how will the Senate possibly succeed with more important and much more complicated problems?

PS, Rep Rush should stop throwing race baiting gasoline in front of TV cameras and go help Rep Rangel with his taxes.

Posted by: john_falck | January 7, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

There is an all points bulletin for Harry Reid's spine!! It hasn't been seen in years. Anyone finding said spine, please arrange immediate reinsertion.

Posted by: merrylees | January 7, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Burris is probably more qualified than half the peabrains in the Senate and definitely just as qualified as the corrupt and incompetent Hairy Reed, who has no Constitutional authority to deny Burris his seat.

Let the people of Illinois decide; much in the same way that the morons in Nevada chose the imbecile Reed.

Posted by: CubsFan | January 7, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The national soap opera continues. Who cares that the nation is borrowing its way into bankruptcy? Who cares about what is happening in Mexico, Iran, China, etc? The REALLY big entertainment for the American couch potatoes is whether Mr. Burris gets to join the crowd of reprobates that populate the US Senate. Good grief!

Posted by: jshaver001 | January 7, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Blago picked him so they could play the race card. Burris in accepting this has shown that he has no respect for the people of Illnois. I thought Blago would pick somebody, but I didn't think anybody would accept. The pick is tainted no matter who or what color you are. This has nothing to do with serving the people. Burris is all about himself. He loves the controversy. And they love playing the race card. When Blago was arrested one black guy said a Blago pick would be tainted. Now the same guy says Burris should be seated cause we need a black guy in the Senate. So hey as long as you are black you should be seated!

Posted by: Lynn11 | January 7, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

You that have made comments that he needs the Secretary of State to sign off on this are wrong. That only applies to elections and doesn't apply to an appointment by a gov. The Secretary of State has no say in this and that is why Reid doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

Posted by: sque1 | January 7, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe any USA/Gallup poll when they are never right on any poll they do. Most people I have talked to don't even know who this guy is so don't try and BS people into believing that they don't want him seated.

Posted by: sque1 | January 7, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

When journalists and commentators use the phrase "most Americans" it shows their incompetentcy. It's like saying "most Americans don't support Barack Obama for President" or "most Americans won't vote for a black man". Well, isn't it time to let go of that phrase? Polling a few people is not indicative of what Americans want or support.

Posted by: pkbishop | January 7, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

This is lynch law. If Burris was legally appointed, he should be seated.

Accusations by prosecutors and posturing by politicians and mdia are not the American way to decide issues.

Posted by: Desertstraw | January 7, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I think jerkhoff is wrong, Fitzgerald has the tapes of JJ Jr supporters approaching Blagojevich, followed by the 90 minutes Blago spent with him. Probably also has tapes of contenders that Blago rejected because they woudn't promise him money.

Posted by: dotellen | January 7, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Blago will walk away from this, this whole thing stinks! Is Blago an idiot? yes, but you can say we have an even bigger idiot in the white house! I think Fitzy got a little push from the bush operatives to scruff up Chicago a little, the south don't like the north taking back the white house. On the surface there doesn't appear to be anything that would really convict him, except a bunch of schoolyard boy talk!

Posted by: writedave | January 7, 2009 5:41 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Fitzgerald can't make his case in court because he has no case. Instead of waiting to see whether Blagojevich actually approached someone about the seat, Foolish Fitzie shot his wad before the target came into range. The Democrats were so busy scurrying away into their ratholes to avoid collateral damage, they didn't notice that there was no case. But the fact is, there is no case. All you have is the Nixonian rantings of a slightly crazed Governor, with no evidence whatsoever that any candidate was ever solicited for a bribe. No jury in the world would convict on a case as weak as this one.

Not only is Burris going to be seated in the U.S. Senate, after the Illinois Supreme Court orders the Secretary of State to do his job, but Blagojevich is going to walk away from this whole thing unscathed. We live in a nation of laws, and ultimately even the United States Senate is not above the law...

Posted by: jerkhoff | January 7, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

One way or another, Burris will be in his seat before the month is out. The Democrats don't have a leg to stand on here...

Posted by: jerkhoff | January 7, 2009 5:22 AM | Report abuse

The Senate has the right to reject Burris if his appointment has not been signed off by the Secretary of State.

They will probably have to work out some sort of compromise to get through this appointment.

Posted by: ssanford00 | January 7, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Now how do we bar the rest of the corrupt Dimocrats like Dingy Harry Reid?

Posted by: segeny | January 7, 2009 4:42 AM | Report abuse

Most Illinoisans DON'T want him. If they did, he wouldn't have lost the last 5 primaries, including for Senator - and for Governor and even for Chicago Mayor. He's a narcissistic egomaniac, with a granite monument to himself - even his kids are named Roland and Rolanda. This is the ONLY way he could get "U.S. Senator" carved into his "Trail Blazer" monument. That's why he wants it, even if it's offered to him by the very guy who's trying to sell it.

Posted by: itsallsogoofy | January 7, 2009 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Burris deserves to be seated and treated with the dignity accorded a person of his stature. He was appointed a U.S. Senator in full compliance with both the U.S. Constitution and Illinois law by the current Illinois governor.
As for the Illinois governor, although wrong-doing has been alleged, it has not been proven and has nothing to do with Burris.
Prosecutor Fitzgerald probably thought making the pay-to-play charges public would lead the governor to resign, but it hasn't. Instead, he's asked the judge for more time to prove the case. If Fitzgerald didn't have the proof when he made the charges public, he shouldn't have made them. It looks like an overzealous prosecutor overstepping his bounds, just like the Duke rape case.

Posted by: Tennessee2 | January 7, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm with TOMHERE and OneFreeMan on this.

It's a legal appointment until somebody can convict, impeach or convince the Gov. to resign.

Where's Fitzgerald? The whole mess hangs on his charges. As serious as those charges are and as guilty as he may appear to be, Blago is entitled to his day in court and until then he's not guilty of anything.

I'll admit to taking the bait upfront. But Ted, "How do you like my re-model?" Stevens kept his seat until he was convicted.

And then there's William "The FBI found the cash in my freezer" Jefferson.

Fitzgerald needs to make his case in court.
And he needs to do it pretty damn quick.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | January 7, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

The GOP and Bobby Rush on the same team... Wow, Republicans to join anybody to be against a Obama position.

I almost think Obama should declare he is against Universal Health Care just to see how many Republicans instinctive declare their support for it!!

Posted by: case3 | January 6, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) wants Burris seated.

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"The LAW is NOT a popularity thing. That's part of where we've gone off track in this nation.
Under the LAW the governor (as stupid and corrupt as he may or may not be) has the RIGHT to appoint the new Senator. He has done that.
END OF STORY.

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 6, 2009 7:17 PM |

Bingo!

Posted by: OneFreeMan | January 6, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Burris may not be tainted like Blago but he shows horrible judgement by accepting the nomination, that alone should be reason not to seat this idiot...and the reason he wants to be seated is to hand out business cards with "US Senator" at the bottom...block this clown!!!

Posted by: Fuzzy21 | January 6, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

He just needs one signature: That of the person whose authority serves as a check on the Governor's power, the Illinois Secretary of State. So why hasn't he obtained this one perfunctory signature? Could it be that the Secretary of State is exercising his authority to refuse to confirm the Governor's nomination? Why doesn't Mr. Burris want to follow the law of the state he wants to represent as Senator?

Posted by: jmcgill1

Could it be a little Democratic party conspiracy among the Obama Chicago insiders, reinforced by Harry Reid who also did not get his chosen candidate? Sure makes Reid and the Democratic Party look sleazier every day. They bend the law and the rules and think people won't notice. Dumb and arrogant, just like the Gov!

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | January 6, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

He just needs one signature: That of the person whose authority serves as a check on the Governor's power, the Illinois Secretary of State. So why hasn't he obtained this one perfunctory signature? Could it be that the Secretary of State is exercising his authority to refuse to confirm the Governor's nomination? Why doesn't Mr. Burris want to follow the law of the state he wants to represent as Senator?
*********

well, burris has filed a suit asking the state supreme court to compell the sec. of state to sign, arguing that it is a non-descretionary duty.

so, actually, burris is following every single law in making sure that his legal appointment is respected by the U.S. senate and the democratic party.

Posted by: dummypants | January 6, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

This thing reminds me of the Saturday Night Massacre in the Nixon regime. Nixon wanted Special Prosecutor Cox fired, but AG Richardson resigned rather than carry out the order. Nixon then went to ass't AG Ruckleshouse, but HE also resigned rather than enforce Nixon's wishes. Nixon finally went to Solicitor General Bork who, being a faithful Nixon wonk, carried out the order. His reward for the deed was to be rejected as a SCOTUS appointee.

Wonder how this one's gonna play out . . .

Posted by: hayeseric | January 6, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I know very little about Roland Burris, but it is clear that he is qualified to be a Senator whether or not he is electable for another term is not. This should not matter since the State will have ample opportunity to make both a primary and an election determination in 2 years. It is also clear that scandal or no scandal, the governor has still the right to appoint, and taint or no taint Mr. Burgess has the right to serve. His actions as a Senator will determine his worth in the role. Let's all move on from this. In truth, it was a brilliant action by the Governor who is now only guilty of making statements that lead nowhere can be claimed as idle talk without intent to do so. For those that want this guy hung, you can hope that Fitzpatrick was a lot more than this on him because he has certainily rolled away from this. Time to roll up your sleeves Mr. Burgess and prove your worth.

Posted by: SandraKelly6 | January 6, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The LAW is NOT a popularity thing. That's part of where we've gone off track in this nation.
Under the LAW the governor (as stupid and corrupt as he may or may not be) has the RIGHT to appoint the new Senator. He has done that.
END OF STORY.

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 6, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

He just needs one signature: That of the person whose authority serves as a check on the Governor's power, the Illinois Secretary of State. So why hasn't he obtained this one perfunctory signature? Could it be that the Secretary of State is exercising his authority to refuse to confirm the Governor's nomination? Why doesn't Mr. Burris want to follow the law of the state he wants to represent as Senator?

Posted by: jmcgill1 | January 6, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who is prepared to or making this much trouble for us at this difficult time is not qualified to sit as a senator and attempt to meddle in the country's affair. We need a person who is at least prepared to put the country ahead of his naked and idiotic ambition. I am not sure whether this is true but I understand Burris has his tombstone carved already with all his achievements to date. Can't be true..... No one can be that silly. Quite embarrassing, isn't it?

Posted by: pelohoki | January 6, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Most Americans may support it, but most Americans don't count in this case.

My question is, why's he doing it? I mean, aside from the rhetoric about his beloved state deserving its seat at the table without delay, blah, blah... what's in it for him, that makes it worth going to war with his own party? And embarrassing himself in the bargain.

I confess I don't get it. Maybe there's something we don't yet know?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 6, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

It would be much more relevant to see a poll of Illinois residents, not all Americans. Do Illinoisans want Burris, and if not he, then who? Can Burris win in 2010 against a strong GOP candidate? If not, who would be a shoe-in? Also, how do African Americans feel about the appointment and Burris being blocked? In addition, the "Keep Seat Open until Situation Resolved" wording is just silly. It should be "Allow Illinois's next governor to make the appointment" or something like that.

Posted by: bungles | January 6, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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