Politics

VP Favorable Ratings: Gore Down; Cheney, Biden Flat

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Americans more negative than positive toward Gore, Cheney

Editor's note: This is an updated version reflecting the addition of the May 2009 rating for Cheney (37%), which was omitted in the original version.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' current views of former Vice President Al Gore have become significantly more negative compared with three years ago, and are among the worst for him in more than a decade.

1992-2010 Trend: Favorable/Unfavorable Opinions of Al Gore

The July 8-11 Gallup poll, finding 44% of Americans viewing Gore favorably and 49% unfavorably, was conducted after the announcement that he and his wife were separating, and amid a police investigation into allegations that he committed sexual assault in 2006. Gallup last measured Gore's image in October 2007, after he was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, when 58% of Americans had a favorable view of him. All three party groups are less favorable toward Gore now compared with 2007, though his rating has declined more among Republicans (from 32% to 16%) and independents (from 57% to 43%) than among Democrats (from 79% to 72%).

The only other time Americans were significantly more negative than positive toward Gore was in early December 2000, as he was disputing the election result in Florida that would make him or George W. Bush president, though he also had sub-50% favorable ratings from 2002-2006.

Gore's vice presidential successors are not viewed very positively, either. Current Vice President Joe Biden's 43% favorable and 41% unfavorable ratings are the best on a relative basis, and Dick Cheney's 36% favorable/52% unfavorable score is the worst.

Biden's ratings are essentially the same as they were last fall, but not as positive as they were during 2008 and most of 2009, spanning the presidential election campaign and the beginning of the Obama administration.

2008-2010 Trend: Favorable/Unfavorable Opinions of Joe Biden

Though Cheney is viewed the least positively of the three most recent vice presidents, his current favorable ratings are improved from 30% in July 2007 (while he was still in office) and March 2009 (shortly after serving out his term), which were the low points in Americans' views of Cheney, but similar to Gallup's last measurement in May 2009.

2000-2010 Trend: Favorable/Unfavorable Opinions of Dick Cheney

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 8-11, 2010, with a random sample of 1,020 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit http://www.gallup.com/.

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