Kansas Sen. Bob Dole is favored by the most Utahns as the person George Bush should pick as his vice presidential running mate, a new Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
But Dole isn't the clear favorite, pollster Dan Jones & Associates found.Twenty-six percent of those questioned said Dole should be Bush's pick; 15 percent want former White House chief of staff Howard Baker; 11 percent want Dole's wife, Elizabeth, who was transportation secretary in the Reagan administration; 7 percent want Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y.; and 7 percent want former U.N. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Other possible picks trail those five by far, and 27 percent didn't know who Bush should pick.
Jones also found that most Utahns weren't impressed enough by Michael Dukakis' choice of Sen. Lloyd Bentsen as his vice presidential running mate to make a difference in their attitude toward the Massachusetts governor.
Sixty percent said putting Bentsen on the Democratic ticket din't make them more or less likely to vote for Dukakis in November, 20 percent said Bentsen made them more likely to vote Democratic, 16 percent said Bentsen made them less likely to vote for Dukakis.
So, in Utah at least, Bentsen is a wash for Dukakis, Jones found.
During last spring's Republican party caucuses (the old mass meetings), Republican rank-and-file said they preferred Kirkpatrick as Bush's vice president. However, Jones found that now, only 8 percent of those who said they're Republicans favor Kirkpatrick. Dole is favored by 26 percent of the Republicans - the same number as Utahns in general - and the rest of the list breaks out pretty close to how all Utahns felt about the vice presidential pick.
In part to keep some sense of anticipation and excitement in the convention, which starts next Monday, Bush has said he'll announce his vice presidential pick Tuesday in New Orleans.
The conventional political wisdom is that Bush, an adopted Texan, needs to pick someone of national standing, like Sen. Dole or Baker, someone who can help him in the West, like California Gov. George Deukmejian, or someone who can help Bush with the women's vote where he is weak, like Mrs. Dole or Kirkpatrick.
Who should George Bush select as his vice presidential running mate?
Bob Dole 26 percent
Howard Baker 15 percent
Elizabeth Dole 11 percent
Jack Kemp 7 percent
Jeane Kirkpatrick 7 percent
Paul Laxalt 3 percent
Lamar Alexander 1 percent
George Deukmejian 1 percent
Other 3 percent
Don't know 1 percent
Michael Dukakis chose Lloyd Bentsen, a U.S. senator from Texas, as his vice presidential running mate. Does this make you more likely or less likely to vote for Dukakis in November?