Now would be a good time for Joe Biden to enter the 2016 race. Sure, he'd lose the element of surprise come debate time, but he'd pop up as the most popular candidate according to a recent poll. The survey from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, taken from Sept. 20-24, shows 40% of Americans view Biden in a positive light, compared to 28% who see him negatively. That equals a favorability rating of 12. Bernie Sanders is next with 10, followed by Ben Carson with 8, Carly Fiorina at 7, Hillary Clinton at -8, and Donald Trump with -33. Biden would also have the upper hand in a match against Trump, besting him by 19 points. Sanders would defeat him with a 16-point advantage, while Clinton would be up 10 points. When it comes to all other GOP candidates, however, Clinton is plus or minus one point, the poll shows.
Biden, meanwhile, would defeat Jeb Bush and Carson each by eight points and Fiorina by six points. Of course, things would likely change if he chooses to run. A pollster notes "history has shown that the public has a much harsher filter when people become candidates," and most of the focus on Biden is currently on his decision to run after the tragic death of his son, which draws sympathy. Biden now has the support of 17% of Democratic primary voters, compared to 35% for Sanders and 42% for Clinton, and he appears to take support almost entirely from Clinton. With Biden out of the race, Clinton would improve to 53% over Sanders’ 38%. The poll also shows support for Bush as the top pick for the GOP nomination has fallen from 22% in June to 7%, per the Journal. Half of GOP primary voters name Fiorina, Carson, or Trump as their top choice. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)