Sympathy for Joe Biden

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

Ben Smith, Nick Gillespie, and Byron York are writing up Gallup’s report that Vice President Joe Biden’s favorable ratings have fallen below the 50 percent mark. Gillespie and York both point out that “Biden is less popular at this point in his term than Dick Cheney was in his.”

Now, not disputing that Biden’s favorable ratings have fallen more than one might expect — and not disputing that this might inspire a “will Obama dump Biden in 2012″ pseudo-news narrative that is going to be sort of excruciating for three years — it’s got to be noted that Gallup’s average includes the massive popularity/approval surge that Cheney, and everyone else in the administration, received after the events of 9/11. A look back at pre-9/11 polls finds that Cheney’s popularity started in the high 50s and low 60s and fell as low as the high 40s — although in those days, when he was known more for battling some heart problems than for pushing for neoconservative foreign policies, he often outpaced President Bush.

What’s the meaning of all this for the White House? Nothing, really — being less popular means being less popular. But the massive shift in public opinion after 9/11 is going to have a distorting effect on presidential polling — I think it saves Bush from having the lowest average ratings during his entire presidency since Truman — and that’s worth remembering.

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Comments

5 Comments

de stijl
Comment posted October 27, 2009 @ 10:55 am

Give me 100 random voting age Americans and I'd be surprised if 40 of them knew that Biden was VP.

In fact, if you asked them “Who is the Vice President of the United States?”, I'd wager that Cheney would get more votes than Biden. “I don't know” would win in a landslide.


strangely_enough
Comment posted October 27, 2009 @ 11:37 am

The rehabilitation of Dick Cheney's legacy continues. At least Biden doesn't appear to be an active conspirator in possible war crimes/crimes against humanity who probably shouldn't travel to Europe any time soon, but it's still early.


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Pingback posted October 27, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

[...] Joe Biden’s popularity is slipping. [...]


de stijl
Comment posted October 27, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

Give me 100 random voting age Americans and I'd be surprised if 40 of them knew that Biden was VP.

In fact, if you asked them “Who is the Vice President of the United States?”, I'd wager that Cheney would get more votes than Biden. “I don't know” would win in a landslide.


strangely_enough
Comment posted October 27, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

The rehabilitation of Dick Cheney's legacy continues. At least Biden doesn't appear to be an active conspirator in possible war crimes/crimes against humanity who probably shouldn't travel to Europe any time soon, but it's still early.


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