On the eve of his receiving the nation's highest civilian honor, poll results released this afternoon show that a majority of Americans have a favorable view of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey found that 51 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of the veteran Massachusetts lawmaker, compared to 35 percent with an unfavorable view.
That is slightly higher than the 47 percent favorable-41 percent unfavorable numbers that Kennedy had in February in the same poll.
On Wednesday at the White House, Kennedy will be one of 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The award citation calls Kennedy "one of the greatest lawmakers -- and leaders -- of our time,'' and lauds the veteran senator's longtime fight for universal healthcare, a goal Obama has made a priority.
When the honor was announced last month, Kennedy said he was "profoundly grateful" to Obama.
“My life has been committed to the ideal of public service which President Kennedy wanted the Medal of Freedom to represent," Kennedy said in a statement. "To receive it from another president who prizes that same ideal of service and inspires so many to serve is a great privilege that moves me deeply."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.