Former Vice President Joe Biden’s popularity is soaring amid talk about a potential 2020 presidential bid according to a new CNN poll.
The poll found that 57 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Biden, the highest rating he has seen since shortly after he took office alongside President Obama in 2009. Just 27 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Biden.
Biden’s favorables have skyrocketed since he and Obama left office. In March 2015, just 43 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Biden while 46 percent held an unfavorable view.
“What explains Biden’s current popularity?” CNN’s Chris Cillizza asks. 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, who has previously unsuccessfully run for president twice, told “The View” earlier this month, “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. 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.”
Biden, who is on a book tour, has done a number of things since leaving office that suggest he may be preparing for such a run. Earlier this month, he apologized for his weak defense of Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 1991. He has also campaigned for Democratic candidates across the country.
But as Cillizza points out, the CNN poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe “the country would be governed better or governed worse if more women were in political office.”
It may be hard for a 75-year-old white man to take on powerful women like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in such an environment. Other female senators like California’s Kamala Harris and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar have also been floated as possible candidates.
And Biden is far from the only hyper-popular white, male septuagenarian who may launch a 2020 bid.
A way-too-early New Hampshire primary poll found Sanders leading Warren and Biden by a sizable margin after defeating Clinton there in 2016 with 60 percent of the vote. The poll also found that more voters would pick Sanders as their preferred candidate than Biden, Clinton, or Warren when they were not given a list of candidates to choose from.
A Morning Consult poll conducted in November found Sanders leading Trump by points in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.
That same poll found Biden leading Trump by 11 points.