Utahns are split over whether Vice President Dan Quayle should be kept on President Bush's 1992 re-election ticket, but most feel Quayle is very or somewhat qualified to be president.
Bush's recent heart palpitations led to renewed speculation about Quayle, who was a surprise vice presidential pick in 1988 and has suffered considerably in the press and public opinion polls.Quayle has been to Utah several times since Bush tapped him as his 1988 running mate. In fact, Utah, a heavily Republican state, was considered a safe place for Quayle to campaign while he was under considerable scrutiny by the press right after the National Republican Convention in 1988.
In a just-completed Deseret News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, 43 percent of Utahns said Bush should keep Quayle on the 1992 ticket. Bush says Quayle has done a fine job as vice president and that there's no reason to replace him. He's stopped, however, from formally announcing Quayle is on the ticket.
But 44 percent say Quayle should be dumped from the 1992 GOP ticket, Jones found. One percent said something else, and 12 percent didn't know.
Fifty percent of Republicans said Quayle should be kept on the ticket, but 38 percent said he should be replaced, Jones found.
Not following national poll trends, most Utahns - 53 percent - said Quayle is very or somewhat qualified to be president. Thirty-nine percent said Quayle is somewhat or very unqualified to be president. Eight percent didn't know.
Bush's heart palpitations were the result of an overactive thyroid gland, his doctors say, adding the president is being treated with medication and the problem should be corrected.
But for the several days before the diagnosis was made, a number of Americans were concerned about Quayle ascending to the presidency - even if only for the short time that Bush may have been incapacitated by medical treatment.
First, in light of President Bush's health problems, do you favor or oppose Vice President Dan Quayle remaining on thre president's 1992 re-election ticket?
43% Keep Quayle as vice presidential candidate
44% Replace Quayle with another Republician candidate
12% Don't know
How qualified do you feel Quayle is to be president?
8% Don't know