Sarah Palin has attracted more attention, but a recent series of Allstate/National Journal polls found that Joe Biden actually enjoys a better public image in more battleground states than the Alaska governor.
The Allstate/National Journal polls surveyed eight battleground states earlier this month: five won by President Bush in 2004 that are at the top of the target list for Democrat Barack Obama and three won by John Kerry in 2004 that are prime targets for Republican nominee John McCain. In each state, the poll asked registered voters whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Palin and Biden, the Delaware senator.
As the two contenders approach their sole vice presidential debate later this week, both are generally popular. In all eight states, each registered a net favorable rating -- that is, the share of voters who viewed them positively exceeded the share that viewed them unfavorably.
But in five of the eight states, Biden enjoyed a larger net favorable rating than Palin. Palin's net favorable rating exceeded Biden's in only three states. Each was a state that Bush carried last time: Colorado, New Mexico and Ohio. Biden had somewhat broader reach: His image was more favorable than Palin's in two states that Bush carried -- Florida and Virginia -- and all three that Kerry won: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Another angle also suggests that for now Biden may be effective over a broader terrain than Palin. Looking cumulatively at all five red states, there's little difference in the two candidates' net favorability rating: Palin's favorable ratings exceed her unfavorable ratings by 18 percentage points, and Biden's net positive rating is 16 points. But in results from the three blue states combined, Palin's net favorability rating is only 12 percentage points and Biden's is almost twice as great at 21 points.
Here's a look at the favorable and unfavorable ratings for the two vice presidential nominees in the eight states, five red and three blue: