Where does Kaine fit in?
Analysis by Chris Graham
If Barack Obama was to go strictly by the positive numbers, he’d have John Edwards making a second run at the job of second most powerful person in the free world.
A Rasmussen Reports survey released on Monday showed that the former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee had a 56 percent favorable rating among voters, edging out New York senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, who is viewed favorably by 51 percent.
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is far down the favorable list, according to the data, which have him at 21 percent favorability, with 54 percent of Democratic voters surveyed indicating that they are unsure of what to think of Kaine.
This on the heels of increasing volume in the parlor talk that Kaine has shot up to the top of Obama’s short list.
Kaine boosters can rest a little easier vis-a-vis Edwards and Clinton in one key respect – in that their unfavorable ratings are also quite high. For Clinton, the number is 46 percent who view her at least somewhat unfavorably, with 29 percent saying they view her very unfavorably, and for Edwards, it is an overall 35 percent unfavorable rating, with 20 percent rating him very unfavorably.
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, who himself is thought to be on Obama’s VP short list, is viewed favorably by 35 percent of voters and unfavorably by 34 percent. Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, a potential intriguing choice for Obama at the #2 slot, is viewed favorably by 30 percent and unfavorably by 24 percent.
Over on the Republican side of the ledger, Rasmussen has two men not considered to be on John McCain’s short list at the top of the favorability rankings – former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. The favorable/unfavorable breakdown for the two was 47 percent/39 percent for Huckabee and 46 percent/39 percent for Lieberman, who ran for vice president in 2000 on Al Gore’s Democratic ticket.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney scores were 42 percent favorable/48 percent unfavorable, surprisingly higher than even Clinton’s numbers on the unfavorable side.