Politicians With Crossover Appeal

Lindsey Graham Meet the Press Photo Taegan Goddard passes along a new survey from  Public Policy Polling:

Lindsey Graham has more crossover appeal than almost any other US Senator in the country. He’s also one of the least popular Senators within his own party. Such is the product of being a rare politician with any bipartisan instincts in these highly polarized times.

The only senators with higher approval with the opposite party than Graham — at least among those states PPP has surveyed since June — are Mainers Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.  But as Republicans in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, they pretty much have to have strong support from the other side.  Not so much Graham.

It is nonetheless a fact that the politicians with the most cross-party appeal are almost inevitably despised by their own party’s base.  Joe Lieberman was every Republican’s favorite Democrat up to the point where he was no longer a Democrat.

The irony is that when these people are forced into switching parties, ala Arlen Specter, they’re persona non grata in both parties.   Not only are they hated by the party they bolted for having the temerity to bolt but they tend to be on the outs with the receiving party on most issues.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Highlander says:

    “Linzy” is the poster child for how feminized and weak American Caucasian males of his generation have become. If he’s not gay,he should be.(He never married….hummm.)

    He is the prototypical”pol” willing to stand for everything and nothing. But at the end of the day he would just as soon stand left of center. Even though he has run his initial electoral con jobs on the citizens of South Carolina by publicly positioning himself as a conservative.He would fit in the Mass. delegation philosophically.

    As for his bipartisan statesmanship, based on my 45 years of heavy political involvement. When any politicians start talking about coming together fro the “greater good of the people on a bipartisan basis”. Well the “PEOPLE” better be hyper vigilant because there is a very good chance,they are about to be royally screwed by both parties.

  2. UlyssesUnbound says:

    Right on Highlander! Gay people can’t make effective legislators! Real Senators have testosterone oozing out of their pores!

  3. Highlander says:

    Ulysses Dear Boy,

    Whether Graham has a not so secret predilection for choir boys or not, and how that effects his ability to govern is a debate for another day.(And I will admit this does seems to be a major theme for Stalwart Republican Social Conservative Legislators. At least Graham has yet to be captured in a public restroom practicing his social conservative moves.)

    If he is gay,I’m sure that is a bit of burden to go through the uncaring world with. But the real curse on his eternal soul is his choice of professions “LAWYER”.

    As for US Senators and “oozing testosterone”, I wouldn’t know. Because the ones we have in these late days of the Republic are full up and oozing something with a rather pungent aroma, but it isn’t testosterone I am pretty sure.

  4. UlyssesUnbound says:

    I wanted to reply with something snarky, but you made me laugh with the Lawyer line :).

  5. Highlander says:


    Just for the record I don’t have anything against gay people, each to his own.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    Sen. Graham is the biggest supporter of open borders and amnesty in the Republican delegation. Only someone who does not care at all about government spending, taxes, sprawl, education, and quality of life could support such non-conservative ideas.

    Sen. Graham has to be the most short sighted person in the Republican delegation and his public statements reinforce the idea every day.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Whether Graham has a not so secret predilection for choir boys or not…

    That, along with his being “feminized and weak”, has nothing to do with whether or not he’s gay…

  8. Highlander says:

    Interested Party,

    Actually I agree with you. The weakness and feminine qualities personified by Senator Graham are unfortunately wide spread in the straight world.

    After an unrelenting cultural attack on white males over approximately the last 30 years. The effects have been profound on young white men.

    Start watching the the movies and TV, and how pervasively the white males are portrayed in a negative light. Hell Obama is not the first Black President…Not if you go by the movies and TV, there hasn’t been a White President or General in American in about the last 25 years.(Unless, of course if the President or General is to be portrayed in a negative manner.Then is perfectly OK to make him a “white dude”.)

    I have to believe the Jewish control of Hollywood has something to do with part of this phenomenon. Then again a bunch of generic corporate schmucks control TV land for instance. If the same relentless dissing of any other minority group was conducted by the media. The shouts of racism and sexism could be heard from the roof tops.

    But not for white males, and unfortunately they are almost beyond the point of standing up for themselves.( I do not include our fine young military people in this feminized category by the way.)