Joe Biden: So hot right now

Almost 6 in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion about Joe Biden in a ...

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 4:01 PM
Updated: Dec 22, 2017 4:01 PM

Almost 6 in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion about Joe Biden in a new CNN national poll, a finding sure to give the Democratic former vice president a boost as he considers whether to run for president in 2020.

The 57% favorable rating is Biden's best in CNN polling since February 2009 -- when he was sworn in as Barack Obama's vice president. Just over 1 in 4 (27%) have an unfavorable view of Biden.

What's remarkable about those numbers is how Biden's favorability has surged since he (and Obama) left office. As recently as March 2015, CNN polling showed more people viewed Biden unfavorably (46%) than regarded him favorably (43%).

Related: Full poll results

The recovery of Biden's numbers stands in stark contrast to the ongoing negative view that Americans hold of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nominee; in Gallup polling released earlier this week, Clinton's favorable rating dipped to 36%.

What explains Biden's current popularity? A few things:

  • He drew hugely laudatory coverage earlier this year for his book tour in support of his memoir about the loss of his eldest son, Beau.
  • Politicians -- with the notable exception of Clinton (of late) -- always grow more popular when out of office.
  • Some level of buyer's remorse -- particularly among Democrats -- who believe that had Biden run in 2016, he would have easily beaten Donald Trump.

Biden has been open about his thinking on running for president in 2020, which would be his third bid for the nation's highest office. "If I were offered the nomination by the Lord Almighty right now, today, I would say no because we're not ready, the family's not ready to do this," Biden said on "The View" earlier this month. "If, in a year from now, if we're ready, and nobody has moved in that I think can do it, then I may very well do it."

While Biden has made no decisions, he's doing the sorts of things someone running for president does in these early stages. He has apologized for his less-than-robust defense of Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 1991. He has traveled the country in support of Democratic candidates. And so on.

What's so interesting about the CNN poll is that it not only shows why Biden is clearly a top-tier candidate if he runs for president but it also reveals his potential Achilles' heel in that race.

When asked whether "the country would be governed better or governed worse if more women were in political office," almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) said the country would be better off with more women in office. Just 10% said things would be worse with more women in elected office, while 16% said it wouldn't make much difference.

Why is that relevant to Biden? Because he is a 75-year-old white man considering a run for president amid the #metoo movement and a cultural awakening about the boorish -- and in some cases criminal -- behavior by men toward women in the workplace.

That a large majority of people believe the country would be better off with more women running things suggests a major opening exists for a female politician to make a very credible run for the Democratic nomination in 2020.

At the moment, none of the female candidates who might run are even close to as well known as Biden. One example: More than half of the country -- 55% -- didn't know enough about New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to offer an opinion about her in the new CNN poll.

But, it's 2017. Which means Gillibrand, who has become a leading voice of the #metoo movement in Congress, has plenty of time to get better known and to challenge the likes of Biden for the nomination.

That is a worry for another day for Biden and his allies, however. Today they will revel in his popularity and use those positive numbers to build buzz for a 2020 bid.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
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Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
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Putnam127828
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Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
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Spencer8588
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Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
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Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
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Pulaski41115
Martin3645
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Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
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