The polls – they should have Kamala Harris worried: Kamala Harris has taken a new hit in polling and her current dip in approval is surprisingly coming from Democrats. The vice president support from her own party is eroding. Only 73 percent of Democrats think she is doing a good job. This is down from a similar poll from Fox News taken in January when 77 percent of Democrats approved of her performance. Overall, the vice president scored a 43 percent approval from all voters.
The Fox News survey found that Harris only received decent marks from 36 percent of Independents. That number is actually up from the 30 percent rating she garnered from centrist voters at the first of the year. Her approval has also improved from January among Republicans who approve of her at a 15 percent rate compared to only 8 percent in January.
But Support Is Dropping With Voters In Her Own Party
District Media Group President Beverly Hallberg said she is not surprised that Harris has slipped among Democrats. “I guess what’s surprising is she is so bad at communicating and can’t point to anything as being successful as vice president,” Hallberg explained.
Despite her polling difficulty among members of her own party, President Joe Biden is sticking with her and is still extolling her virtues. “Look, I just think that Vice President Harris hasn’t gotten the credit she deserves,” Biden told MSNBC. “She was an attorney general of the state of California. She has been a United States senator, she is really very, very good. And with everything going on, she hasn’t gotten the attention she deserves.”
Harris’ bio is indeed impressive and inspiring. However, the honeymoon is over as she has been in office over two years and is still struggling during her tenure. In polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight’s daily tracking numbers, Harris is below 40 percent, coming in at a 39.4 percent average. Her disapproval rating is 50.4 percent.
Ready to Run Again?
Kamala Harris was featured prominently in the Biden re-election video, but she had no audible words in the footage. Harris has struggled mightily to find her footing in various speeches and talks to voters. She is also trying to find a clear role in the administration.
She received backlash when the president had her become the point person on the White House’s artificial intelligence strategy and action plan. Twitter owner Elon Musk questioned Harris’ experience and ability to be the AI czar for the administration. Musk said the AI leaders need not be a genius, “but maybe someone who can fix their own Wi-Fi router wouldn’t be too much to ask.”
Other critics of Harris’ AI appointment thought it would be better to have a council of experts who could serve in round table discussions led by the vice president.
But a More Important Group Must Remain Loyal to Harris
It’s surprising that some African-Americans have soured on the vice president. Harris received only 69 percent approval from black voters in the Fox News poll. This is down from her high in June 2021 of 82 percent approval among African-Americans. She recently had a successful trip to Africa where she visited three countries on the continent to the approval of adoring fans.
In the 2020 presidential election, 95 percent of African-American women voted for Biden, while 87 percent of Black men voted for him, according to the Pew Research Center.
Keep Black Males Onboard
The Biden-Harris ticket must keep these voters satisfied so they can turnout in similar numbers in 2024. Harris has tried in the past to meet with Black males to listen to their concerns about the direction of the country. Harris has trumpeted the Biden administration’s efforts to make voting in federal elections easier and to protect voting rights for African-Americans. But it has been high unemployment that has held Black males back. During the Covid-19 pandemic the jobless rate for this group spiked as high as 16 percent compared to 11 percent for all Americans during the crisis.
Harris has time to turn her poll numbers around. If she can remain consistently in the mid-40s for her approval rating, that would be the kind of improvement that the president is banking on. But she needs to lock in support among African-Americans to keep that critical coalition together entering into campaign season. So, the stakes are high for the vice president if she wants to keep her job.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.