Poll Suggests Few Voters Care About Biden’s Handsy Approach To Politics

during commencement for the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Wednesday, May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/FR125654 AP

A new poll suggests that few voters may care about Vice President Joe Biden’s overly physical approach to politics.

A Quinnipiac University survey of California voters released Wednesday morning found that two thirds of all voters and two thirds of women in the state say allegations that Biden inappropriately touched a number of women in a nonsexual way are “not a serious issue.” Fully 71% of California Democrats said the same in the poll.

Biden has faced more than a week of intense media scrutiny for his handsy approach to politics after multiple women came forward to say he’d made them uncomfortable with unwanted physical contact that many described as paternalistic or condescending. The story dominated cable news and the left-wing Twitter-sphere for most of last week.

Pollster Tim Malloy says the poll’s results show voters are “clearly unconcerned” about the scandal.

These numbers could definitely shift — Quinnipiac was in the field from April 3-8, starting Wednesday of last week as the story was still developing and largely before Biden repeatedly joked about the controversies during a Friday speech. Voters often take some time to digest new developments before their opinions are set, the story has yet to be fully litigated by Biden and his rivals, and it’s unclear if others may come forward with new complaints that could keep the story alive.

But right now, the issue doesn’t look to be doing much damage to Biden.

The vice president leads the field in California, a key early primary state in the 2020 election. Biden has the support of 26% of voters, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 18% and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) in third place in her home state at 17%. None of the other Democratic candidates are polling in double digits in the state.

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