Republican VP pick more favoured than Democrats’: Poll

Washington, Aug 14 (IANS) Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence has a more positive image than Democratic Party pick Tim Kaine, a latest poll showed.

According to the Gallup poll released on Saturday, Pence is better known across the US as his image has grown significantly more positive over time than Kaine’s. As of now, Republicans were embracing Pence more than the Democrats embraced Kaine, Xinhua news agency reported.

Both Pence’s favourable and unfavourable ratings have increased, while the percentage of those who have never heard of him has dropped from 65 per cent before last month’s National Republican Convention to 39 per cent. His favourable rating has gone up more than his unfavourable rating, Gallup found.

Pence, the Indiana governor received some nationwide media attention last year for signing a “religious freedom” law that the gay and lesbian community of that US state sharply criticised, and was facing a difficult gubernatorial re-election campaign before Trump chose him as running mate, Gallup found.

Trump has grabbed many negative headlines since the conventions, including his pronouncements about the Muslim family whose Army captain son was killed in Iraq, the tensions between him and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, and whether nuclear weapons can or should be used.

The conciliatory statements made by Pence may be seen as an attempt to assuage the situation, by sympathizing with the soldier’ s family. Yet, while Trump’s statements have not helped his own favourable ratings, Pence has gained substantially in net favourability, Gallup said.

Pence is now better known and liked across key subgroups than he was before the Republican convention. Sixty-four per cent of Republicans have a favourable impression of Pence, up from 40 per cent in mid-July. He has risen to 33 per cent favourability among independents and even has a 17 per cent score among Democrats, up from a paltry 5 per cent in July.

Americans’ overall image of Hillary Clinton’s choice Kaine has become somewhat more negative since the beginning of the Democratic convention, Gallup said.

The US senator from Virginia has a favourable rating of 33 per cent, up from 24 per cent before the convention. But his unfavourable rating has increased from 14 per cent to 30 per cent.

In the next three months, the country will continue to form opinions of Kaine and Pence, and their images may be affected by the forthcoming Vice Presidential debate on October 4 at Longwood University in Virginia, Gallup added.

–IANS

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