Reactions to Kaine tilt positive as Democrats seek unity

Updated 1:51 PM EDT, Tue July 26, 2016
dem ticket campaigns amid new email scandal pamela brown pkg_00011022.jpg
dem ticket campaigns amid new email scandal pamela brown pkg_00011022.jpg
Now playing
02:45
Democratic ticket campaigns amid controversy
CNN
Now playing
01:23
Kaine: Need accountability for Niger ambush
CNN
Now playing
01:36
Kaine: Haspel must explain destroying records
CNN
Now playing
01:46
Kaine: Blowing up Iran deal is not the answer
CNN
Now playing
01:38
Kaine: Trump could fix DACA if he wanted to
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) talks to members of the media as he leaves after a closed briefing on the airstrikes against Syria by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford April 7, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) talks to members of the media as he leaves after a closed briefing on the airstrikes against Syria by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford April 7, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:08
Sen. Kaine: Bolton has 'track record of cooking intel'
CNN
Now playing
00:53
Kaine: Gun marches are 'changing the equation'
CNN
Now playing
08:25
Kaine questions if Bolton can get security clearance
tim kaine donald trump china trade war sot_00001213.jpg
tim kaine donald trump china trade war sot_00001213.jpg
Now playing
01:04
Tim Kaine hits Donald Trump on China relations
tim kaine vp debate feisty pa rally bts_00002315.jpg
POOL
tim kaine vp debate feisty pa rally bts_00002315.jpg
Now playing
00:51
Tim Kaine: Wife 'dinged' me for interrupting at debate
U.S. Senator-elect Tim Kaine speaks to supporters at the Downtown Richmond Marriot after winning the Virginia U.S. Senate seat on November 6, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
U.S. Senator-elect Tim Kaine speaks to supporters at the Downtown Richmond Marriot after winning the Virginia U.S. Senate seat on November 6, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.
Now playing
01:00
Who is Tim Kaine?
tim kaine trump bizarre fascination strongmen sot_00000525.jpg
CNN
tim kaine trump bizarre fascination strongmen sot_00000525.jpg
Now playing
03:19
Kaine rejects McClatchy's Sid Blumenthal 'birther' story
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks to voters during a campaign event August 1, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks to voters during a campaign event August 1, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.
Now playing
01:28
Kaine responds to Bob Gates' criticism
Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen Tim Kaine (D-VA) looks on during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on July 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen Tim Kaine (D-VA) looks on during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on July 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Now playing
03:19
Kaine called US policy in Syria a joke in 2015
Tim Kaine Trump intv newday_00001210.jpg
CNN
Tim Kaine Trump intv newday_00001210.jpg
Now playing
01:14
Tim Kaine: Trump was being ignorant, not sarcastic
tim kaine trump bizarre fascination strongmen sot_00000525.jpg
CNN
tim kaine trump bizarre fascination strongmen sot_00000525.jpg
Now playing
00:47
Kaine: Trump has a 'bizarre fascination with strongmen'
tim kaine donald trump diplomacy sot newday_00001627.jpg
CNN
tim kaine donald trump diplomacy sot newday_00001627.jpg
Now playing
00:59
Kaine on Trump: Diplomacy 'not for amateurs'
tim kaine hits donald trump on tax returns sot_00001505.jpg
tim kaine hits donald trump on tax returns sot_00001505.jpg
Now playing
00:55
Kaine hits Trump: Even Nixon released his taxes

Story highlights

The initial reaction to Clinton's choice of Kaine is very similar to that for Trump's selection of Pence

Bernie Sanders holds onto more support among Democrats than Clinton held at this stage in 2008

CNN —  

Reviews of Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick Tim Kaine tilt narrowly positive, with majorities of Democrats of all ideological stripes calling him an excellent or good choice.

Overall, 46% of registered voters say Kaine is an excellent or good choice, narrowly above the 43% who said so about Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in a CNN/ORC poll conducted July 14-16. Among Democrats, 63% call Kaine a good choice, including 66% of liberal Democrats and 58% of moderate or conservative Democrats. Some had speculated that liberals in the Democratic Party would be disappointed in the choice of Kaine, who has taken more moderate positions on some key issues.

Read the poll results

On several other questions, the initial reaction to Clinton’s choice of Kaine is very similar to that for Trump’s selection of Pence. Nearly 8 in 10 say the choice won’t have much effect on their vote (78% said so about Kaine, 79% on Pence), a slim majority say Kaine is qualified (52% vs. 53% who said so of Pence) and most say it reflects favorably on Clinton’s ability to make presidential decisions (56% say so, 57% said so about Trump’s choice of Pence).

Kaine himself begins his candidacy with 48% of voters saying they haven’t heard of him or don’t know enough to have an opinion. Among those who can rate him, there are more positive feelings than negative ones: 31% have a favorable impression, 21% unfavorable. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 46% have a positive impression of Kaine, just 9% view him unfavorably, also very similar to Pence’s initial impression on Republican voters.

Although majorities within the Democratic Party on both ends of the ideological spectrum had positive reactions to Kaine’s selection, earlier polling suggested that Democrats had not completely united. In a CNN/ORC survey conducted before the GOP convention, 35% of Democrats said they believed the party was united, 40% that it would unite by November and 24% that it would remain divided through the election. That represents more unity than the Democrats had heading into their 2008 convention following the hotly contested primary that year between Clinton and Barack Obama.