A recent SoonerPoll found Vice-President Joe Biden’s 32.2 percent approval rating in Oklahoma is 3.2 points lower than President Obama’s, but that is not all that surprising.
In a historical sense, it is not all that uncommon for the vice president to have lower approval ratings than their president counterparts. For instance, throughout George W. Bush’s presidency Vice President Dick Cheney had consistently lower ratings that the president, and Vice President Al Gore trailed Bill Clinton through much of his term.
The role of the vice president plays in the administration usually depends on the relationship he shares with the president. The vice president often represents harder-line positions on issues, which ensures the support of the party’s base and simultaneously guards the president against partisan criticism.
“Throughout history vice presidents often have lower approval ratings than their president counterparts,” observed Keith Gaddie, SoonerPoll vice-president. “Vice presidents are often seen as the attack dogs of the administration, as spokesmen for the more unpopular stances of an administration.”
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 500 likely voters from April 5 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.38 percent.
The vice president effect may not be the only reason Biden’s approval ratings are low however. This poll was conducted after the health care reform law press conference where the sometimes outspoken vice president made his “big f—ing” comment.
Further analysis also shows a relationship between opinions of the vice president and party label. Liberal respondents voiced 76.4 percent approve of the vice president while 78.1 percent of conservatives disapprove.