A Shocking Number Of Americans Have Never Heard Of Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center after meeting with Venezuelan exiles and community leaders on February 01, 2019 in Doral, Florida.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A recent survey from CNN reveals that 12 percent of Americans have never heard of Vice President Mike Pence. That’s an increase from the last time the poll was conducted, at about the same time last year, when 10 percent of people said that they didn’t know who Pence was.

In the poll, respondents were asked to rate how they felt about the politician, with 39 percent giving him a favorable opinion, 40 percent an unfavorable one, and 8 percent having no opinion at all. That’s not surprising given the low profile that Pence has kept while serving in Trump’s White House. What is shocking is that a full 12 percent of people who answered the survey say they’ve never heard of the person who is second in line to run the country. Converted to reflect the country at large, that would mean 30 million people in America don’t know who Pence is.

The poll, conducted by SSRS, further broke those numbers down, showing that of the 1,011 people who responded, 7 percent were men and 17 percent were women. Seventy-nine percent of those people were white. Sixteen percent of people polled who didn’t know Pence were Democrats and another 16 percent were non-college graduates.

In comparison, according to Gallup polling, the number of people who hadn’t heard of Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, in 2011 was 6 percent. Only 2 percent of respondents hadn’t heard of George W. Bush’s VP Dick Cheney in 2003. Bill Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, was known by all but 3 percent of the people polled in 1995. In fact, Pence has the same recognition percentage as Texas Senator Ted Cruz did as the presidential race was starting to heat up.

The former governor of Indiana has largely stayed out of the limelight during his term in office.

The CNN poll also asked people how they felt about the president. A majority of people disapproved of the overall job Trump is doing as president, with 55 percent saying they disapprove. That’s 4 percent lower than the all-time high of 59 percent disapproval in December 2017.

The poll also found that 43 percent of people think that the current federal government is doing the worst job it ever has during their lifetimes. This comes on the heels of a partial government shutdown that dragged on for over a month with no real resolution. For comparison, in January 1996, during President Bill Clinton’s government shutdown, only 21 percent of people said that the government was doing the worst job in their lifetimes.