A poll of 1,446 respondents showed 44 percent favorable ratings for Biden and 43 percent favorable ratings for Ryan. This is the closest favorable ratings between two vice presidential candidates of the last six elections, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
The poll also marks the lowest pre-debate favorable rating for any Democratic vice presidential candidate of the last six elections.
Biden had a 49 percent favorable rating compared to Sarah Palin's 53 percent in 2008, John Edwards had a 56 percent favorable rating to Dick Cheney's 48 percent in 2004, Joe Lieberman had a 52 percent favorable rating to Dick Cheney's 46 percent in 2000, and Al Gore had the highest ratings at 61 percent to Jack Kemp's 51 percent in 1996 and 63 percent to Dan Quayle's 33 percent in 1992.
Despite even favorable ratings between Biden and Ryan, a USA Today/Gallup poll from September shows independents have a more negative than positive view of the vice president, at 45 percent to 38 percent. Those polled had a more even view of Ryan, with a 39 percent unfavorable rating compared to a 40 percent favorable opinion.