Former Vice President Joe Biden gets worse ratings for his past campaign (which was tied to Hillary Clinton’s failure) and for the ideas he outlined during his last run (which hasn’t been defined), while current politicians get better marks on measures of credibility, evidence-based policymaking and credibility, a new Fox News poll shows.
Yet Biden still leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in hypothetical matchups, with President Trump trailing them all by single digits, according to the poll.
In all of the hypothetical matchups, the Democratic front-runners receive substantially stronger ratings for policy issues from Democratic voters than from Republicans.
Among voters, 41 percent have a favorable opinion of Clinton, 26 percent view her unfavorably and 42 percent offer no opinion. But when Republicans are asked whether they “have a favorable opinion” of Clinton, just 24 percent say so.
Biden fares no better. In both Democratic matchups, 41 percent have a favorable view of Biden. But then, while just 21 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of him, 47 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Sanders wins that group, with 29 percent having a favorable view, but still 40 percent having an unfavorable opinion.
Over six in 10 voters think Biden (who led Clinton in a hypothetical matchup by seven points) is “focused on the wrong things,” and about three in four say Biden (who led Clinton by six points) has a lot of interest in politics (though a majority thinks he cares about the issues important to them). Most Democratic voters (52 percent) say Biden and Clinton’s positions on policy are “about right,” while less than a third (28 percent) say they are too liberal.
That doesn’t appear to matter to voters, though, when it comes to possible Democratic contenders. More than four in 10 say Biden and Sanders have earned their trust, while about three in 10 say the same of Clinton.
Overall, 75 percent of Republicans have no opinion of Clinton. But they express a more positive view of her than their Democratic counterparts do, even when asked to identify Clinton by her given name. Eighty-six percent of Democrats say Clinton is “a solid person,” as do 76 percent of Republicans. And Republicans’ approval of her in her first post-2016 campaign runs far above her approval among Democrats, with 40 percent giving her a favorable rating, compared with 11 percent for Democrats.
Democrats’ views of other members of the early presidential field are positive, too. Two-thirds (66 percent) say Sanders deserves their trust, while 65 percent say so for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Democrats are also more likely to view former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro (48 percent), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (41 percent) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (45 percent) as “solid people.”
Last month, the Fox News poll asked voters whether each of the top Democratic candidates had credibility issues: Biden came in last (6 percent), Sanders was last (8 percent), former California Rep. Beto O’Rourke tied for last (11 percent) and Sanders was third (13 percent).
Support for each of the candidates’ proposals varies considerably by party. But, of the Democrats, 43 percent say Clinton’s proposals would make their households better off, while 40 percent say they would hurt.
For Biden, views are evenly split on this issue, though his proposals are seen as more likely to help (by 34 percent) than hurt (by 29 percent). O’Rourke tops Clinton (46 percent to 39 percent) and Sanders (40 percent to 33 percent) in favorability ratings for his policy proposals.
In the new poll, 37 percent say Republicans are trying to divide the country between “the privileged and the rest” – the highest-ever for this question in the 17 years the Fox News poll has asked it. Just 26 percent say the GOP is trying to “curb excessive spending,” the lowest in the year-long history of the question.
That’s among many other partisan views of the GOP, which benefit from having a Democrat in the White House. Among Republicans, Trump gets the highest “caring about the issues important to” comparison: 85 percent say he cares about the country and their family.
The Fox News poll was conducted July 31-Aug. 5, with 1,002 randomly selected U.S. adults interviewed by live interviewers on landlines and cellphones. The margin of sampling error for all registered voters is plus or minus 3 percentage