Voters have more confidence that Vice President Mike Pence is well prepared to assume the presidency than Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, according to a new poll.
A Washington Examiner/YouGov poll found that the public trusts in Pence’s preparation by a 20-point margin, with 56% saying he is well prepared to become president compared to 36% who believe he is not well prepared.
This includes 91% of Republicans who think the sitting vice president is well prepared to be president and 28% of Democrats who agree. Among independents, 53% believe that Pence is well prepared, to 36% who do not.
The electorate is more split on Harris, who is a freshman senator from California. According to the poll, 49% think she is well prepared, while 44% say she is not. Independents are effectively tied on the question, with 44% saying she is well prepared, to 42% not. Democrats do have confidence in her preparedness, however, as 86% said she was well prepared.
If elected, Harris would be vice president under the oldest man to ever serve as president. Biden will turn 78 soon after the election, older than President Ronald Reagan when he left office after two terms. The same poll found 60% were concerned about Biden’s age. Harris’s relative youth, she turns 56 later this month, was a factor in her selection.
Despite thinking Pence is more prepared, voters still believe Harris would be a better president. Harris prevails over Pence on this question by 51% to 43%. This likely reflects the electorate’s preference for the Democratic ticket. Biden and Harris lead President Trump and Pence in most polls, hovering just below 52% in the RealClearPolitics national average.
Independents power the preference for Harris over Pence, favoring the Democrat by 11 points, with 48% to 37% for Pence. Otherwise, the response breaks down along partisan lines: Harris beats Pence 91% to 5% among Democrats, while Pence bests Harris 92% to 4% among Republicans.
Pence and Harris debated last week in an exchange that was widely viewed as being more conventional and civil than the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden. Harris assailed the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic while Pence cast the Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals.
The vice president has taken on a larger role in the campaign since Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Harris is expected to be a major presence at Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings because she is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The survey was conducted among 1,195 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7%
Author: W. James Antle III
Source: Washington Examiner: Public believes Pence more prepared to be president than Harris, Washington Examiner/YouGov poll finds