08/26/2009 03:59 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kennedy's Legacy

"What," I heard Chuck Todd ask on MSNBC a few minutes ago, "is the way [Sen. Edward Kennedy's] legacy should be measured?"

I'm not sure I have a great answer, except to say that public opinion polling is not the first that springs to mind. However, if you are interested in a review of Kennedy's political life through polling (as The Atlantic's Chris Good put it earlier this morning), here are some suggestions:

  • ABC's polling director Gary Langer went back into the archives to chronicle Kennedy through public opinion polling back to the 1960s.
  • Republican pollster Alex Lundry dug up some similar data that he passes on via Twittter (the individual links: 1, 2, 3, 4).
  • The most recent measure of Kennedy's national popularity was taken by the CNN/ORC poll earlier this month. They found 51% of American adults rating Kennedy favorably, 35% unfavorably.
  • The always indispensable Polling Report has a compilation of Kennedy's recent favorable ratings from four pollsters, including CNN.

If you prefer a more qualitative assessment of Kennedy's life and legacy, let me recommend the impressive collection of over 40 first hand accounts from lawmakers, staffers and others who knew him best, compiled by my National Journal colleagues.