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 TIME on politics TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and TIME

Poll: Celebrity presidential candidates not taken seriously

By Keating Holland/CNN

October 12, 1999
Web posted at: 5:09 p.m. EDT (2109 GMT)

WASHINGTON -- Americans don't consider celebrities such as Donald Trump, Jesse Ventura or Warren Beatty as serious candidates for president and have already begun to view some of them unfavorably, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

In the wake of his controversial Playboy interview, Ventura's favorable rating has dropped by 14 points while unfavorable ratings for Trump have climbed to 58 percent immediately following his announcement that he will form a presidential exploratory committee.

As the governor of Minnesota, Ventura is the Reform Party's highest elected official nationwide. Trump announced last week that his is forming a committee to explore a possible run for the Reform Party's presidential nomination and Ventura has urged him to run.

Only 23 percent view Trump as a serious presidential candidate, half the number who consider Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan a serious candidate. If Buchanan bolts to the Reform Party as he is considering, he would beat Trump 54 percent to 33 percent in a head-to-head match-up among people who are likely to vote in the Reform Party presidential primary next year.

The Reform Party plans to give a primary ballot to any registered voter who wants one. Currently 16 percent or respondents say they are very likely to participate in a Reform Party primary and 22 percent say they are somewhat likely.

The poll is based on interviews with 973 adult Americans conducted October 8-10, 1999. It has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points unless otherwise noted.

Regardless of whether or not you would vote for the following people, please say whether you would view each as a serious candidate if he or she decided to run for president?

 YesNo
Pat Buchanan 44%53%
Donald Trump 2374
Jesse Ventura2274
Oprah Winfrey1682
Warren Beatty1382
Cybill Shepherd690

Next, we'd like to you get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable opinion of this person, or if you have never heard of him or her. How about Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura?

 NowSeptember
Favorable 37%51%
Unfavorable 4525

How about businessman Donald Trump?

 NowSeptember
Favorable 33%41%
Unfavorable 5847

The Reform Party will hold a primary next year to choose its presidential nominee and currently plans to give a primary ballot to every registered voters who asks for one. How likely is it that you would participate in the Reform Party's presidential primary next year --- very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely or not likely at all?

Very likely 16%
Somewhat likely 22
Not likely 61

In terms of the Reform Party ticket for president, which of the following two possible candidates would you prefer to see win the Reform Party nomination for president, Pat Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Buchanan 54%
Trump 33
Sampling error: +/-6% pts

Now suppose that the year 2000 presidential election were being held today, and it included Al Gore as the Democratic nominee, George W. Bush as the Republican candidate, and political commentator Pat Buchanan as the Reform Party candidate. Would you vote for: 1. Al Gore, the Democrat; 2. George W. Bush, the Republican; 3. Patrick Buchanan, the Reform Party candidate?

Bush 51%
Gore 38
Buchanan 9

Now suppose that the year 2000 presidential election were being held today, and it included Al Gore as the Democratic nominee, George W. Bush as the Republican candidate, and businessman Donald Trump as the Reform Party candidate. Would you vote for: 1. Al Gore, the Democrat; 2. George W. Bush, the Republican; 3. Donald Trump, the Reform Party candidate?

Bush 51%
Gore 37
Trump 10

ELECTION 2000

Gore campaign says AFL-CIO endorsement all but assured (10-11-99)

Buchanan brigades could change face of Reform Party (10-11-99)

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Tuesday, October 12, 1999

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