WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans give a thumbs up to Sen. John Kerry becoming the country's next secretary of state, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicates that 57% of the public says it would be good for the country if the senior senator from Massachusetts becomes America's top diplomat, with 32% saying it would be bad for the nation.
The poll's release comes as a senior administration official confirmed to CNN that President Barack Obama will nominate Friday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Kerry had always been one of the top contenders for the job, but he became the odds-on-favorite on December 13, when U.S Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice asked the president to take her name out of consideration, citing a "lengthy, disruptive, and costly" confirmation process.
Rice, thought to be the president's first choice for the top diplomatic post, took repeated fire from congressional Republicans for her comments in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
The survey indicates a partisan divide over Kerry, with nearly eight in ten Democrats questioned saying Kerry as secretary of state would be good for the country. Independents agree, by a 54%-33% margin, but by a 56%-31% margin, Republicans say it would be bad for the country.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International December 17-18, with 620 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.