Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Gallup & Rasmussen: Does Biden Help?

Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

In a survey conducted yesterday and published this morning, Rasmussen Reports finds that 39% of voters believe that Obama made the right choice in selecting Biden as his running mate; 25% disagreed and another 35% are not sure. Women were less enthusiastic than men of the pick—33% of women say Biden was the right choice while 27% disagreed. It appears from these limited and early numbers that Biden may not resolve Obama's problem with Hillary  Clinton's most ardent female supporters.

In another flash poll completed yesterday by Gallup, the numbers suggest that the new VP nominee may have little effect on most voters: only 14% say that the selection of Biden makes them more likely to support Obama. 7% say less likely; 72% replied that it will have no effect at all.

A word of caution: it may take weeks or even months to understand the full effect of a VP pick. And most often, the VP candidate has only a modest effect, at best, on the outcome of a presidential election. In 1988, for example, Democrat Michael Dukakis lost with a running mate considered strong by most observers, Sen. Lloyd Bentson (D-Texas); his opponent Republican George H. W. Bush won, even though his choice, Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Indiana), was widely perceived as weak and inexperienced.