Pence vs. Harris – Who do Americans favor?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
August 13, 2020, 4:30 PM UTC

Joe Biden’s decision to add Kamala Harris as his running mate means that we now have a clear match up for the battle for vice president.  So how does President Donald Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, stack up against the challenger? 

The Economist/YouGov Poll shows that both VP candidates are popular among their respective bases, but Harris remains less well-known to the general public. 

According to recent Economist/YouGov Polls, two in five (40%) Americans have a favorable opinion of Pence, compared to 37 percent of Americans who say they have a favorable opinion of Harris. A quarter (25%) of Americans remain uncertain about their opinion of Harris, while only 14 percent are uncertain of their opinion of Pence. 

Harris is more popular with Black Americans, with half (48%) of that group saying they have a favorable opinion of her, compared to 32 percent of white Americans. By contrast, Pence leads with white Americans on favorable opinion (47%), compared to 16 percent of Black Americans who view him favorably.  

According to the data, men (45%) view Pence more favorably than women (35%) — while Harris’ favorability remains relatively similar for both men (36%) and women (37%). These trends are similar to what is shown at the top of the ticket — Biden leads Trump among Black Americans and women, while Trump is often the pick of white Americans. 

Harris leads with Americans between the ages of 18 to 29, with 35 percent reporting a favorable opinion of her. Most Americans (55%) over the age of 65 favor Pence, compared to 36 percent of Americans over the age of 65, who have a favorable opinion of Harris.  

Pence and Harris’ favorability ratings also vary by political ideologies. Pence is most favored by conservatives and Republicans, while Harris is favored by liberals and Democrats. Nearly half (46%) of conservatives have a very favorable view of Mike Pence, while a quarter (26%) of liberals have a very favorable view of Harris.  

Americans have varying views on the two 2020 VP candidates depending on where they live in the country. While Pence leads with favorability in the South, Harris leads in the Northeast and West. Two in five (43%) Americans in the South say they have favorable opinion of Pence, while 43 percent of Americans in the Northeast and West say they have a favorable opinion of Harris.  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week's Economist/YouGov Poll 

Methodology: This Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US registered voters interviewed online between August 2 – 4, 2020 and August 9 – 11, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.5% for the overall sample.    

Image: Getty