Word association poll: Biden 'good' and 'idiot'
September 5th, 2012
02:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Word association poll: Biden 'good' and 'idiot'

(CNN) - How would you describe Joe Biden?

The two most popular words, survey shows, are "good" and "idiot."

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A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found a mention of the vice president brought a negative word to nearly as many minds (38%) as a neutral word (39%). Asked to describe Biden in one word, only 23% of respondents thought of a positive word, the poll showed.

A similar poll conducted late last month found more people thought of a favorable word to describe GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan than either a negative or neutral word. Of those surveyed, 37% thought of a positive word, 35% thought of a negative word, and 28% thought of a neutral word to describe Ryan, who represents Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, where he is also chairman of the Budget Committee.

Neither survey specified its sampling error.

The top negative words used to describe Biden, the survey found, were "idiot," "incompetent," "clown," and "stupid." Out of 1,008 people surveyed, eight referred to him as a "joke" and seven used the word "buffoon."

"Good" and "honest" topped the list of positive words, which was followed closely by 10 people who named "funny" and eight who called him "great."

Among independent voters, only 18% offered a positive word, while 42% offered a negative word and 39% a neutral word.

The top words used to describe Ryan, who joined the GOP ticket last month, were "conservative," "intelligent," "good," and "young." Independents gave him a more favorable assessment than they did Biden: 36% positive, 38% negative, and 26% neutral.

And the top adjective used for Ryan was more favorable than the top word used to describe the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The 2008 survey provided no percentages, but found the top word to be "inexperienced," followed by "conservative," "strong" and "refreshing."

While 20 of those surveyed on Biden this year described him by his title, "vice president," of the 1,010 surveyed on Ryan, only 3 described Ryan by his title, "candidate."

The survey on Biden was conducted August 31-September 3, and the Ryan survey was conducted August 23-26.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Brigham

    We call him "Slow Joe". Just another reason to protect Obama at all costs.

    September 5, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. rosaadriana

    I like Joe.

    September 5, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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