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.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2729595

Reported Deaths: 57534
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35008110971
Queens32689410411
Suffolk2554533688
Nassau2261353332
Bronx2133646806
New York1767984665
Westchester1481672356
Erie1248032050
Monroe976581253
Richmond928091973
Orange62183944
Onondaga59393818
Rockland55509783
Dutchess37964510
Albany34399413
Oneida33196643
Niagara28724419
Broome28212434
Saratoga24658225
Schenectady19328245
Ulster19063291
Rensselaer17411193
Chautauqua14985195
Oswego14170135
Putnam13145101
Chemung12834175
St. Lawrence12815143
Steuben12484190
Ontario11683119
Jefferson11388106
Wayne10251103
Cattaraugus9983157
Cayuga9729113
Sullivan958890
Genesee8633144
Herkimer8312143
Clinton809948
Fulton7854115
Tompkins741461
Madison7365109
Warren730096
Livingston722176
Montgomery7191162
Washington668580
Tioga634473
Cortland609489
Allegany5988122
Columbia5693113
Chenango554795
Orleans549496
Franklin541526
Otsego537063
Wyoming530266
Greene493189
Delaware439951
Lewis420340
Seneca324567
Essex298438
Schoharie268124
Yates198534
Schuyler193320
Hamilton5133
Unassigned1432
Out of NY0339
Utica
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 29°
Oneonta
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Herkimer
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 29°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 29°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2022 WKTV Golf Card only $99.99
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve