Without much previous attention on the national stage, voters are looking to Mike Pence’s approval ratings in his home state of Indiana for an indication of how he would perform in the nation’s second-highest office.
In Indiana, 46 percent of Mike’s constituents approve of the job that he is doing as governor, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult. On the other hand, 39 percent say that they disapprove of Pence’s work. Overall, he holds the 16th worst approval rating of 50 state governors.
Though Mike’s ratings might be comparatively unfavorable to other politicians with his position, Pence still enjoys much higher approval than either of the candidates vying for the presidency. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton find themselves more disliked than liked among registered voters in poll after poll.
In one of the most recent surveys from CBS News/NY Times, 58 percent of more than 1,300 registered voters said that they had a negative view of Hillary. In that same poll, 54 percent said that they similarly disapproved of Donald. That puts Mike Pence around 20 percentage points ahead of Clinton and Trump.
Still, it’s worth noting that Mike has faced a much less intense level of scrutiny. Pence’s leading Google query isn’t about whether or not he’ll end up in prison instead of the White House like Hillary, nor has he become a target of international outrage like Donald. A definitive approval rating on the national scale doesn’t even exist for the vice-presidential candidate.
Instead, Mike is just now finding himself in the midst of a vigorous vetting process by the media. A lot of that digging has, perhaps unsurprisingly, alarmed progressive Democrats.
Pence’s records on issues like LGBT and women’s rights have been torn apart since Trump named him earlier this week. In fact, the vice-presidential hopeful’s most prominent moment on the national stage up until now was when he sparked the #BoycottIndiana campaign by signing the state’s religious freedom bill into law. After facing heavy backlash, Mike and the Indiana Congress edited the provision to include an anti-discrimination clause for “sexual orientation and gender identity.” Pence expressed his regret that the original law had been “misinterpreted,” reported Indy Star at the time.
“Our state is rightly celebrated for our pro-business environment, and we enjoy an international reputation for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance and kindness of our people. Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan; it is our way of life. Now that this is behind us, let’s move forward together with a renewed commitment to the civility and respect that make this state great.”
Some in the media have even wondered aloud whether Donald chose Mike because of his relatively low profile in contrast to that of the boisterous billionaire. In The Guardian, Ben Jacobs suggested that it may have been intentional. Pence jarred sharply with even his more outspoken rivals for the VP nomination like Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie.
“Most presidential candidates introducing a running mate deliver a paean to their chosen one. Trump talked about every topic under the sun, occasionally mentioning Pence but then digressing. Left on his own, Pence gave a solid but unspectacular speech. He hit all the right notes but with no flights of fancy, no moments of inspiration, it was entirely forgettable. He had no need to say anything interesting. In the zigzagging drama of the past 48 hours, Trump had successfully created yet another unorthodox spectacle.”
Does Mike Pence’s approval rating reflect your own views? How about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s?
[Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Images]