Being the Goose to the president's Maverick ain't no walk in the park. Vice presidents often run for the #1 spot themselves (14 VPs have ascended to the presidency) and the position plays a significant role in leading legislative strategy in addition to representing the executive branch of government to the world at large. It's a huge responsibility, and one that Joe Biden and his successor, Mike Pence, have handled in drastically different ways.
Prior to inhabiting the vice presidential home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, both Biden and Pence attracted national attention for their politics as senator and governor respectively. Vice Presidents also serve as the President of the US Senate, which means they cast the winning vote in the case of a deadline, as VP Pence exercised last week by voting in support of legislation repealing a banking rule that would allow consumers to collectively sue their bank or credit card company over financial disagreements.
As vice president, Biden took a strong stance against on-campus sexual assault— an initiative that he also championed during his time as a Delaware senator with the Violence Against Women Act in 1990. Biden was generally seen as the good-humored sidekick to Obama's more serious commander in chief persona. He was affectionately turned into the meme "Goofy Uncle Joe," and though he didn't particularly enjoy the title, it may have helped his approval ratings during public speculation for a 2016 presidential bid.
Before President Trump tapped Pence to be his running mate, the former Governor of Indiana had already established himself as a staunch Republican after winning a congressional seat in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Pence went on to become Governor of Indiana in 2013, after which he signed the controversial anti-LGBT legislation known as the Religious Freedom Act that allowed business to legally discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. Vice President Pence has been the cautious foil in comparison to the brash and heavy-handed actions of President Trump. And similar to how Biden was Obama's biggest champion, Pence has been fiercely loyal to Trump, having recently walked out of a football gameas part of the President's political bidding.
To take a step back and see the by-the-numbers differences between these two veeps we put together a handy breakdown of the national vice presidential approval ratings for Joe Biden compared to current Vice President Mike Pence after their first six months in office.
Take a look below:
The stats for former veep Joe Biden are from Gallup, a non-partisan data analytics organization, which tracks metrics on vice president approval ratings, and the stats for current veep Mike Pence are from HuffPost and Pollster, which aggregate polling metrics from various outlets. At the time publishing, Gallup did not have approval ratings for Mike Pence.