Although some pundits have suggested that President Obama drop his current Vice President, Joe Biden, in favor of current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Americans, and especially Democrats, aren’t ready to give up on the current Vice President.
According to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, Democrats, by nearly two to one, favor keeping Biden on the ticket in 2012 instead of trading him in on someone else. Americans overall are more closely divided on the question. But it’s clear there is no groundswell to dump Biden.
That question doesn’t directly pit the current Vice President against Clinton, and she remains much more popular than he is. Americans divide 41% to 46% when it comes to whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Biden, but they give Clinton overwhelmingly positive ratings. In this poll, 55% have a favorable view of her, while 38% are unfavorable.
And when the public is asked directly about Clinton’s ability to serve as Vice President, by more than two to one Americans say she has the ability to be an effective VP. Nationally, 60% say she does, as do 85% of Democrats. A majority of independents agree, and so do a third of Republicans. Somewhat fewer say she has the ability to be an effective President, but even on this question, the Secretary of State gets positive evaluations.
Do you think Hillary Clinton would have the ability to be an effective vice president?
Thinking about the presidency, do you think Hillary Clinton would have the ability to be an effective president?
As for her being a good choice for Vice President, Americans agree she would be, by 42% to 25%. Responses here are clearly partisan: by 45% to 22%, Republicans think she would be a bad choice, while Democrats call her a good choice – 64% to 10%.
Clinton’s performance as Secretary of State is seen positively by Americans (though Republicans disagree). Only a third of the public now say she is too liberal – a criticism that haunted her during her tenure as First Lady. And she also seems to have escaped any stigma for being too closely aligned with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Just 14% say he has “too much” influence on her; just about as many (11%) say he has “too little” influence.
Americans don’t expect a 2012 change in the Vice Presidential nominee: just 30% think it’s likely a switch to Clinton will be made, while 46% view any movement in that direction as unlikely.
Image source: The White House Blog