Poll: Hillary's Favorability Rating Easily Bests Biden's

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 23 2013 1:27 PM

Democrats, Republicans, and Everyone Else Likes Hillary More Than Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden points to the crowd alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama welcomes South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13, 2011
Vice President Joe Biden points to the crowd alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama welcomes South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13, 2011

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

With much of the nation's capital apparently already suffering from electoral withdrawal, the Washington Post and ABC News sent their pollsters on a mission to land the Beltway its next fix of the good stuff:

Of two potential Democratic successors to Barack Obama, one has a clear advantage in personal popularity: Hillary Clinton, whose favorability rating exceeds Joe Biden’s by a hefty 19 percentage points in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
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The full breakdowns: 67 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the former first lady, compared with 26 percent who said they held the opposite view. Biden also has a healthy net favorable rating—48 percent to 37 percent—but clearly comes up well short of Clinton. Things look even better for the outgoing secretary of state when you look at the splits for those who felt strongly about their opinions: More than twice as many respondents said they held a "strongly" favorable opinion of Clinton than those who said they felt as passionately about their dislike for her (35 percent to 14 percent), while Americans were mostly split on Biden in the passionate department: 22 percent strongly favorable compared with 23 percent strongly unfavorable.

The tabs suggest Clinton holds a similar edge among her own party, among independents, and even among Republicans—as well as every other demographic the pollsters came up with:

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Early polls like this normally favor those with the strongest name recognition, but Clinton's biggest advantage is likely the fact that she's had the luxury of serving as the country's top diplomat for the past four years—a relatively nonpartisan post in the eyes of many—while Biden has been in the middle of the political fray, both on the campaign trail this summer and more recently in the ongoing debate over gun control. Full poll results here (.pdf).

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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