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Biden Maintaining Majority Favorable Rating

Biden Maintaining Majority Favorable Rating

Story Highlights

  • Biden's overall favorable rating is 53%, unchanged from a February reading
  • His favorability is 74% among Democrats and 32% among Republicans
  • Biden, Sanders have same favorability among Democrats but not Republicans

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Former Vice President Joe Biden remains popular with Americans, with 53% viewing him favorably and 35% unfavorably. This is essentially unchanged from Gallup's prior reading in February.

Line graph. Americans’ views of Joe Biden since 2007.

Biden's current favorability is based on an April 17-30 Gallup poll that encompassed the April 25 announcement of his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. It also followed several weeks of news coverage focusing on claims from several women that Biden had engaged in inappropriate physical behavior in their past interactions with him.

Despite these allegations, which threatened to derail Biden's candidacy before it could start, his image remains largely intact among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, though his favorable rating among them has edged down from 80% in February to 74% now. He remains largely unfavorable among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with a 32% favorable and 60% unfavorable rating -- virtually unchanged from February.

Line graph. Democrats’ and Republicans’ views of Joe Biden since 2008.

Favorability of Other Democratic Presidential Candidates

Gallup's prior reading on Bernie Sanders, from September 2018, was similar to Biden's favorability in February: 53% and 56%, respectively. However, Biden now leads Sanders by a slight margin, largely because of a slip in Sanders' favorability score to 46%.

The two continue to be rated equally among potential primary voters, with both men viewed favorably by three in four Democrats and Democratic leaners. However, Biden leads Sanders in favorability among national adults because he has significantly more crossover appeal: 17% of Republicans and leaners have a favorable view of Sanders (versus 32% for Biden).

None of the other five announced Democratic candidates tested in the April survey enjoy the same high name recognition or favorability as Biden and Sanders. The two who come closest are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris -- both of whom also receive favorable ratings from a majority of Democrats -- 58% and 55%, respectively.

The other three Democrats measured in the poll are trailing, with just over four in 10 Democrats viewing them favorably: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (45%), former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke (43%) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (41%).

If there is good news for the candidates at the bottom of the favorability list, it is that their unfavorable ratings among Democrats are also low, ranging from the low double digits to the mid-teens. Their lower favorability scores are a function of relatively high percentages saying they have no opinion of each or saying they haven't heard of them.

Bar chart. Favorability of seven Democratic presidential candidates among all adults and partisans.

Gallup previously polled Americans about two other Democratic hopefuls, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar, who were not included in the latest poll. In February, less than half of Americans, as well as less than half of Democrats, were familiar enough with either candidate to rate them, resulting in their favorable scores being the lowest of the group.

Bottom Line

With roughly nine months to go before voting begins in the Democratic presidential nominating contest, Biden and Sanders far outpace others in the current field of candidates. Both are viewed favorably by a broad swath of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, but Biden is better liked by Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. However, some of the lesser-known candidates have time to make a name for themselves in the coming months.

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