Vice presidential debate: Joe Biden has work cut out for him after poll shows Paul Ryan viewed more favorably

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (left), and Vice President Joe Biden.

Online Staff Report

Vice presidential candidates Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are set to square off in their only debate from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (Central), Thursday, Oct. 11, and a recent poll shows Biden may have his work cut out for him.

A poll of registered voters by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7, showed 51 percent viewed the vice president unfavorably and 39 percent viewed him favorably, while 44 percent viewed Ryan favorably and 40 percent viewed him unfavorably. Simply put, registered voters have a favorable view of Ryan and an unfavorable view of Biden heading into the debate.

Independent voters were split on Ryan, with 42 percent viewing him favorably and 42 percent viewing him unfavorably. However, 52 percent of Independent voters had an unfavorable view of Biden while just 35 percent had a favorable view of him.

Furthermore, 40 percent of those surveyed in the Pew poll said Ryan would do a better job in the Oct. 11 debate while just 34 percent believed Biden would perform better.

Republicans also appeared more confident in their candidate, as 78 percent of Republicans believed Ryan would win the debate while just 62 percent of Democrats believed Biden would win.

The vice presidential debate between Biden and Ryan could be a pivotal moment in the race for the White House. Polls have consistently shown Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama neck-and-neck throughout the 2012 campaign.

Prior to the first presidential debate Oct. 3, Obama had gained a slight advantage of as much as 4 percentage points in the polls. However, the gap closed immediately following the Oct. 3 debate in which Romney was viewed by many as outperforming the president.

An Oct. 10 Gallup Tracking poll had Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent, while a Rasmussen Tracking poll had Romney edging Obama 48-47 percent and an IBD/TIPP Tracking poll had Romney leading Obama 49-44 percent.

Biden had a slight edge over his vice presidential opponent, then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), in the 2008 campaign. Both Biden and Palin were viewed as favorable by registered voters in late September 2008, as 53 percent viewed Biden favorably and 51 percent viewed Palin favorably. However, in this election, Biden’s unfavorable mark (51 percent) is nearly as high as his favorable mark (53 percent) from the 2008 election.

Twenty-six days remain until the Nov. 6 General Election. The Oct. 11 vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., will be moderated by ABC News Chief and Foreign Correspondent Martha Raddatz. Topics will include both foreign and domestic policy issues.

Other remaining debates include the following:

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Moderator will be Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent. Debate will be a town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy.

Monday, Oct. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderator will be Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation. Topic will be foreign policy.

Posted Oct. 10, 2012

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