Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is a favorite for the Republican presidential candidate in 2020 if Donald Trump loses this year, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll.
- Pence: 22 percent;
- Trump: 13 percent;
- House Speaker Paul Ryan: 13 percent;
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: 12 percent;
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: 11 percent;
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 7 percent.
Pence's rise in popularity among Republicans could be attributed to his debate performance against his vice-presidential opponent, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Thirty-eight percent of voters said the Indiana governor won the debate over Kaine, while 20 percent said Kaine was the winner.
The favorability rating for Pence went up 7 points after the debate, Politico reported.
Morning Consult co-founder Kyle Dropp says Pence came out the winner. "Even though the VP debate had about half the audience of the presidential debate, both Mike Pence and Tim Kaine have seen their name recognition go up significantly.
"The news is much better for Pence, though. Not only do more voters think he won the debate, his favorability now sits 10 points higher than Kaine's," Dropp added.
However, voters still prefer the two presidential candidates instead of their vice presidential picks. When asked if they preferred the vice-presidential candidates lead the ticket, voters responded negatively.
- 59 percent prefer Trump;
- 32 percent prefer Pence.
Hillary Clinton supporters:
- 84 percent prefer Clinton;
- 9 percent prefer Kaine.
The vice-presidential debate did little to sway voters, with 84 percent saying the debate did not change their minds about who to vote for.
Democrats also have a favorite for 2020 if their Clinton loses, with 28 percent of them choosing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Pence got positive reviews from Republican members of the Politico Caucus, a panel of activists, strategists, and operatives. Sixty-six percent think the governor could defeat Clinton and capture the White House.
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