On Monday, CBSNews.com's Lucy Madison bizarrely included Vice President Biden as one of the Obama campaign's "most popular surrogates" as she highlighted First Lady Michelle Obama's 69 percent approval rating, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. However, Madison didn't point out that Biden's approval ratings in two polls earlier in 2012 lag far behind Mrs. Obama.
The online political reporter first noted in her article, "In push for battleground states, Michelle Obama heads west," that the First Lady was "swinging by Colorado and Arizona as part of a four-state tour that will include fundraisers and campaign appearances in Las Vegas and Albuquerque." She continued that these "early campaign appearances by Mrs. Obama - whose approval ratings eclipse her husband's...are another indication that President Obama's re-election campaign will make a hard push this November to win Western states with growing Latino populations."
Madison then spent the bulk of her write-up outlining Hispanic factor in these battleground states, and how the Obama campaign was following a "Western strategy" to win the presidential race. Her passing reference to Biden's apparent popularity came in the second to last paragraph, as she quoted at length from a senior Democratic Party official in Arizona:
"I think 2012 will be another chapter in how Latino voters will decide to participate in the election," Luis Heradia, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, told Hotsheet. "They are engaged they are paying attention like I have not seen before."
It's too early to know the extent to which Arizona is up for grabs. The GOP has dismissed this notion as a Democratic "mirage," and Romney so far has a fundraising edge over Mr. Obama in the state.
But in sending out some of their most popular surrogates - Vice President Joe Biden recently made a stop in the Sunshine State as well - Heradia believes national Democrats and Mr. Obama's re-election campaign are making clear they believe the state is within reach.
"I think they continue to see what we see on the ground - that voters are paying attention that they are supporting the president and that support could grow if they're in a relationship with our voters," he said.
The Vice President actually trails Mrs. Obama in the polls by a wide margin. In January, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that Biden had a 38 percent favorable and a 41 percent unfavorable rating. A more recent poll from Fox News had similar results, with 42 percent approving of the Democrat and 42 disapproving.