WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Public opinion of Joe Biden is unfavorable, while Paul Ryan is still lagging behind the favorable opinion of Sarah Palin before the 2008 debates.

Ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate, more voters view Joe Biden unfavorably than favorably, while opinions about Paul Ryan are more evenly divided. Biden’s image is far less positive than it was shortly before his 2008 debate with Sarah Palin; Ryan is viewed less favorably than Palin was just prior to the last vice-presidential debate.

According to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Biden only has a 39 percent favorable ranking, while a majority – 51 percent – views him unfavorably. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan sits at about 44 percent favorable and only 40 percent unfavorable.

However, both candidates in this election lag behind the favorable opinion 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin held before the exact same poll four years ago.

Sarah Palin held a 51 percent favorable ranking and only 40 percent unfavorable.

But Joe Biden’s numbers in 2008 were much better than this time around. He was at a majority –53 percent – favorable – and only 31 percent unfavorable in the last election.

A separate survey, also conducted Oct. 4-7, among 1,006 adults and 812 registered voters, finds that voters are divided over who will do better in Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Four-in-ten (40 percent) say Ryan will do a better job while 34 percent expect Biden to do better.

Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post before the party conventions this summer found that people have very different one-word impressions of the vice presidential candidates. More people used negative words than positive ones to describe Biden, while one-word impressions of Ryan were mixed.

The current survey finds that just 35 percent of independent voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, while 52 percent view him unfavorably. As many independent voters view Ryan favorably (42 percent) as unfavorably (42 percent).


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