And is such a thing possible?
Kamala Harris vs. Donald?
The 2024 election campaign is starting to pick up steam. President Joe Biden is expected to announce his campaign imminently. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is officially in the race. The GOP side of things is expected to be crowded, whereas Biden is expected to grab the Democratic nomination without contest.
Still, Biden is 80 and unpopular, so people are wondering about alternatives. Naturally, Kamala Harris is in the conversation.
Meanwhile, Trump’s stock has fallen, but he remains a high-profile candidate. If the GOP field remains fractured and contested late into the primary season, and if the GOP establishment fails to rally behind a single candidate and hoist that candidate as an alternative, Trump could earn a third straight GOP nomination.
Harris as Presidential Candidate?
Could Harris earn the Democrats’ presidential nomination? It seems unlikely but let’s entertain the idea. Harris is very unpopular, and her last bid for the White House ended early, with single-digit polling. People remember that 2020 effort, and it should raise electability questions heading into 2024.
Yet Harris is the vice president — a position known to launch its occupants into the Oval Office. And Harris has a loyal following — a group known as the K-Hive. If Joe Biden drops out for some reason, say his health, Kamala Harris would be on the short list of replacements.
Yes, Trump could definitely be the GOP nominee, again.
Trump’s path to the nomination will be deeply contested. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is especially popular right now.
But Trump is still Trump, and Trump still has MAGA Nation on his side. Don’t count him out.
A lot of different variables would have to break the right way to set up a Harris-Trump showdown in 2024.
Vegas odds are against it happening. But let’s consider what it might look like.
Kamala Harris vs. Trump?
If Harris were matched up against Trump, she would lean heavily into the playbook Democrats have been running for years: that Trump represents a threat to common decency and a threat to democracy itself.
Kamala Harris would run back the Biden line that the election is a fight for the soul of America. Only Harris would have the identity credentials to really lean in on some of the social and cultural stuff that Dems like to hit Trump on.
For example, Harris would use her status as a daughter of immigrants to malign Trump’s immigration policies (i.e., building the wall and the “Muslim Ban”) as draconian, the sort of immigration policies that would have deprived Harris and her family the opportunities that allowed her to ascend to the vice presidency.
Harris could also use her status as a woman to malign Trump’s history of misbehavior toward women. Hillary Clinton leaned into that tack hard, though, in 2016, without success.
It turned out voters were more worried about tax rates than whether Trump was decent with the opposite sex.
Finally, Harris will leverage the fact that she is part African-American in an appeal African-American voters, some of whom, to the surprise of Democrats, are leaving the Democratic Party.
Trump, for his part, will do what he always does: He will rant and rave on social media. He will peg Harris with a reductive, amusing, partially accurate but hyperbolic nickname. He will malign Harris as a prime facilitator of the liberal rot afflicting America from within.
You know, his standard stuff.
A Harris-Trump election would be fought mostly along social and cultural lines. It would make for a dreadful election cycle. And no matter the outcome, the result would be a president far beneath the standard that the American people deserve.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.