Poll: Biden’s favorability rating sinks

Vice President Biden has a negative favorability rating for the first time since becoming President Obama’s vice presidential pick, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.

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Biden stands at 42 percent favorable versus 46 unfavorable. He has been hovering near break-even since late 2009. His popularity plunged towards the middle ground shortly after taking office, when he was at 53 favorable and 29 unfavorable.

Biden is still overwhelmingly popular among Democrats, at 73 favorable, but well underwater with independents, at 37 favorable and 47 unfavorable.

The poll was conducted between May 10 and May 13, one week after Biden surprisingly endorsed same-sex marriage in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The comment provoked Obama to announce just a few days later his own support for same-sex marriage. Biden’s off-script moment dominated the headlines initially, but appears to have had little impact in the polls.

Still, Biden’s propensity to go off-message is an occasional source of consternation for the administration, and frequently provokes speculation from pundits that Obama might replace him on the ticket with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who enjoys one of the highest favorability ratings among all public officials.

Most political operatives agree that Biden will not be replaced as Obama’s running mate.

Obama’s favorability has been slowly creeping upward, and now sits at 52 favorable and 46 unfavorable.