News Article

See How They'd Run

An actor for President -- EW asks readers if celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, and Barbra Streisand should run for office

Ronald Reagan, after all, was President, and some say a damn fine one too. Could another movie actor be elected in 1996? While Colin Powell was busy mulling his chances, we asked the electorate to weigh some other undeclared candidates. In a phone survey conducted Nov. 1-5, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY asked Americans if they would consider voting next November for any of seven esteemed actors. We learned that Americans are a very considerate people.

Clint Eastwood — 34%
Charlton Heston — 23%
Conservatives carried the day. Eastwood, the ex-mayor of Carmel, Calif., drew strongest support from those earning under $15,000 a year (46%). Dirty Harry's closest competitor was Moses: Heston, who's anti-rap and pro-NRA, appealed equally to young and old, male and female. Does Powell need a veep?

Robert Redford — 22%
Michael Douglas — 15%
Too bad for director of The American President, Rob Reiner. He had Redford cast in the title role, then lost the liberal, reportedly because Redford didn't want the film to make a political statement. There's solace in the poll's follow-up question, though. Given a choice of roles for Douglas, more Americans would like to see him play a President (30%) than play Miami Heat coach Pat Riley (28%).

Barbra Streisand — 14%
Morgan Freeman — 14%
Streisand, a Friend of Bill, only did slightly better among women than among men. Freeman outscored Douglas among 18- to 34-year-olds.

Anthony Hopkins — 11%
Don't let the low number fool you. That's a base of goodwill — over 20 million voters — that, say, Illinois industrialist Morry Taylor, who actually is running for President, would love to claim. The bigger problem is that Sir Anthony is Welsh.

Originally posted Nov 17, 1995 Published in issue #301 Nov 17, 1995 Order article reprints