December 8, 2016

Low Approval of Trump’s Transition but Outlook for His Presidency Improves

5. Views of Mike Pence

The public holds mixed views of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Overall, 39% say they have a favorable view of Pence, while about as many (42%) say they have an unfavorable view; 18% are unable to offer a rating of him. Pence is seen less favorably than other recent incoming vice presidents. About six-in-ten had favorable views of Joe Biden in 2009, Dick Cheney in 2001 and Al Gore in 1993.

Overall, 70% of Republicans and Republican leaners view Pence favorably, while just 13% hold an unfavorable view of him. Views among Democrats and Democratic leaners are the reverse: 65% view him unfavorably, compared with just 18% who view him favorably.

Half of the public says they think Pence will have about the right amount of influence within the Trump administration, while 21% say they think he will have too much influence and an identical 21% think he will have too little influence.

The share saying they expect Pence to have the right amount of influence within the Trump administration is somewhat lower than the share who said this about Dick Cheney’s influence within George W. Bush’s administration in January 2001 (58%), but is about the same as the share who said this about Al Gore’s influence within the Clinton administration in February 1993 (52%).

Three-quarters of Republicans and Republican leaners say they think Pence will have about the right amount of influence within the Trump administration; 15% think he will have too little influence and just 6% say he will have too much. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, about as many say he will have too much influence (35%) as the right amount (31%); 25% say he will have too little influence.

Overall, 54% of the public says that Pence is qualified to be president, if something were to happen to Donald Trump; 30% say he is not qualified, and 15% do not offer an opinion.

Eight-in-ten Republican and Republican leaners say that he is qualified to be president. By contrast, more Democrats and Democratic leaners say he is not qualified to serve (49%) than say he is qualified (37%).