I’ve latched onto an interesting nugget from Public Policy Polling’s recent survey: the George Allen effect.
Half of the nearly 600 likely Virginia voters polled said they have a favorable opinion of the former Republican governor and U.S. senator.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents hold an unfavorable opinion of Allen and 11 percent said they’re not sure.
As PPP’s Tom Jensen points out, the results make Allen “less popular than Mark Warner and Bob McDonnell but more popular than Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and Jim Webb.”
The pollsters also asked whether folks would consider voting for Allen, were he to run for office again. The results:
Would definitely vote for Allen: 31%
Would definitely NOT vote for Allen: 36%
Would consider voting for Allen: 31%
Not sure: 2%
Allen has kept a pretty low profile after he lost his Senate seat to Jim Webb (D)in 2006, thanks in large measure to the “Macaca moment.”
But in recent months, Allen launched the American Energy Freedom Center which, among other things, has advocated against the controversial cap-and-trade energy bill.
He’s writing a book about leadership — how sports, character and politics coincide.
And Allen is giving more and more interviews, including one to the Washington Post in which he called the “macaca” comment “a mistake.”
During my sit-down last week with former Virginia governors, Allen told me he “would have liked to seen a lot of things handled differently and covered differently” during the 2006 campaign.
On top of all that, Allen is still a pretty likeable guy to most Virginians (think Abingdon, not Alexandria). His personality warms people up pretty quickly — a skill not every politician possesses.
A George Allen comeback might not be definite, but it seems more and more likely to this reporter.
C’mon. You know you missed the cowboy hat.