As the clock winds down on the Bush presidency, Americans are split on the role that has been played by Vice President Dick Cheney, often called the most powerful vice president in U.S. history.
Cheney has played a key role in the Bush administration's response to Sept. 11. According to a FOX News poll, however, 40 percent of Americans believe Cheney has used his unprecedented influence in the White House to carry out his own policies — as opposed to policies that President Bush supports.
More than one-third of Americans (36 percent) believe Cheney has had too much influence in the Bush administration. About the same number (35 percent) believe he had about the right amount of influence, while 17 percent believe the vice president had too little influence in the White House.
Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to believe Cheney has had too much influence, 48 percent to 18 percent.
The poll was commissioned as part of a new FOX News documentary, "Dick Cheney: No Retreat." In making the film, FOX News Chief White House Correspondent Bret Baier was given unprecedented access to the vice president, traveling with him to the Mideast and to his private sanctuaries in Wyoming.
Baier also interviewed President Bush for this documentary, which premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 13, on the FOX News Channel.
The poll numbers underscore what Baier found in his reporting: Over the course of the administration, the vice president has become one of the most divisive figures in American politics.
When asked how they would feel if Cheney had to take over the presidency, 53 percent of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable, and 44 percent said they would feel comfortable.
When broken down along party lines, three-quarters of Democrats said they would feel uncomfortable with Cheney in the Oval Office, while 75 percent of Republicans say they would feel comfortable with a President Cheney in charge.
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
"Dick Cheney: No Retreat," a rare glimpse into the life of the vice president hosted by Bret Baier and produced by Brian Gaffney, airs at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 on the FOX News Channel.