Mainstream media reports typically cast Vice President Kamala Harris in a more favorable light than her predecessor, former Vice President Mike Pence.
Nevertheless, a recent poll shows that Harris’s favorability rating ahead of the Biden administration’s first 100 days in office is one point lower than Pence’s was in 2017, at the same point in the Trump administration.
Polls offer direct comparisons
The Fox News poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters between April 18-21 and its results come with a margin of error of about 3%.
Pollsters found that Harris has a favorable rating of 49% compared to 46% who reported an unfavorable opinion.
Additionally, the survey reveals lower approval and higher disapproval than at any point since she was picked as President Joe Biden’s running mate during the 2020 presidential campaign.
In May 2017, the Independent reported that the same Fox News polling found that Pence enjoyed a comparable approval rating that was one point higher at 50%.
Similar comparisons between Harris and Pence can be found in other polls, including one conducted by Rasmussen that shows a 46% favorability rating for Harris compared to 51% unfavorability. That survey also registered a slim majority of Americans who declared her unqualified to assume the role of president.
The same polling firm showed Pence with a 63% favorability rating at the same point in Trump’s term. According to those results, just 32% of respondents believed he was unqualified to take over the presidency.
An average of major polls compiled by RealClearPolitics provides a broader comparison between the two vice presidents at their respective 100-day marks.
According to those results, Harris has an average favorability rating of 49.3% and an average unfavorability rating of 43.3%. Her stronger showing appears to be bolstered by a handful of positive surveys, in particular the Politico/Morning Consult poll.
Looking back at the averages from April 2017, Pence also enjoyed a net positive spread among the polls included by RealClear Politics. His favorability rating ranged from 45-54% with unfavorability between 42-47%.
There is plenty of time for Harris’s numbers to shift in either direction, but personal likeability could be a contributing factor to her results. She is also facing backlash on policy positions and performance, most notably her reticence to visit the nation’s southern border as part of her role in the Biden administration’s response to an immigration surge.