In a recent poll of 345 Kadima voters, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert triumphed over one of his fellow Cabinet members. Asked whom they would prefer to be Kadima’s next candidate for Prime Minister, the voters chose Olmert over the other minister by 8.7% to 5.8%. The only candidates the voters liked better than the current Prime Minister were Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (preferred by only 49.3% of the poll participants); Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz Who Used To Be Something Important In The Army (preferred by 14.5%); None of the Above (11.6%); and Undecided (10.1%).
“This is significant triumph for our Prime Minister over someone whose name, I seem to recall, sounds very much like something used to build interior walls,” said one of Olmert’s remaining unindicted spokesmen. “Who says that Ehud Olmert is the least popular leader in Israel’s history? The numbers show that this simply isn’t quite true.”
An Ehud Olmert political-strategy consultant (who refused to be identified because he was concerned about possible loss of clients) claimed that Olmert’s fifth-place finish was in fact a much better result than it seemed: “Remember that the people who chose ‘None of the Above’ were clearly referring to Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz, since they are the only ones who came out above ‘None of the Above’ in the poll. So these 11.6% of the Kadima electorate obviously prefer Ehud Olmert to Livni and Mofaz; they simply chose a more emphatic way of stating their revulsion to those two, rather than merely stating their obvious preference for Olmert.”
According to the same strategist, those who chose “Undecided” were also in the Olmert camp: “As Prime Minister, Olmert has seen first-hand the results of rash decision-making by earlier Prime Ministers, and has learned that putting off crucial decisions until later – or making Avigdor Lieberman make them and take the blame for them – is the essence of great leadership. Clearly, the Israeli people want an undecided Prime Minister, and Ehud Olmert is their choice for the job.”
Counting all the “Undecided” and “None of the Above” voters as members of the Ehud Olmert camp, the Prime Minister’s popularity among the Kadima electorate is clearly impressive: at over 30%, it is more than double Shaul Mofaz’s support, and well over half the support enjoyed by Tzipi Livni. “Ehud Olmert has shown that he has what the voters want, and momentum is on his side. If elections are held at some point in the future, there is a distinct possibility that he’ll be elected to something,” said Olmert’s spokesman.
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