The Daily Mail has released a new poll featuring poor reviews of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Fortunately for Harris, the Daily Mail is neither American nor moderate, but British and conservative – so the poll results shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Yet, unfortunately for Kamala Harris, the poll reinforces persistent sentiments that Harris is unpopular and will hamper Biden’s re-election bid.
The poll results
The Daily Mail asked respondents to pick a single word that summarized Harris. The most selected word? “Incompetent,” which outpaced more complimentary options like “smart” and “strong.”
Going a step further, 40 percent of respondents answered that Harris was the worst “recent” vice president, ranking below Mike Pence and Dick Cheney, who each logged 17 percent of the votes. Personally, I’m taking Dick Cheney as the worst Vice President in recent memory (the poll logged VPs dating back through the Reagan administration). Cheney was a nefarious creature who pressed for the invasion of Iraq, the use of torture, and the consolidation of powers in the executive branch. Harris isn’t my favorite, but she hasn’t led one of the worst U.S. foreign policy initiatives ever, and she hasn’t structurally degraded our federal government.
“And if that wasn’t clear enough,” The Daily Mail reported, “almost half of the 1,000 people surveyed said Biden should swap out his running mate for 2024 – including 27 percent of Democrats and a quarter of black respondents.”
For what it’s worth: Republican firm J.L. Partners conducted the poll, so again, grain of salt on the results.
Despite my reservations about the poll in question, some of the takeaways are accurate. “The results reflect the reservations of some senior Democrats who fear Biden’s advanced age means many voters will wonder whether his 58-year-old VP would have to take over during a second term.”
Reservations about Kamala Harris
The poll is trash, but the reservations about Harris are legitimate. Harris is in a weird spot. Never has it been roughly assumed that a president would be unable to survive a term. But Biden is about to turn 81. The election isn’t for another year. If Biden wins, his second term would carry him through his 86th birthday. He’s already sundowning. He already looks and sounds old. He looks fragile.
People plausibly suspect that Biden won’t be able to complete a second term. I mean, he’s already the oldest president in U.S. history. And the U.S. male life expectancy is only 76, which Biden exceeded nearly half a decade ago. So, it’s reasonable to assume that Biden’s running mate will have to step up into the presidency at some point between 2024 and 2028. Accordingly, Harris is facing more scrutiny than your average vice president. And so far, the scrutiny has not been flattering to Kamala Harris.
Harris has taken heat for a variety of reasons. Results. Personality. Verbal gaffes. Staff turnover. Nature of her selection as VP.
To be fair, Harris was put in a difficult position when Biden assigned her to handle immigration early in the administration. Immigration is a multifaceted problem that Harris likely never had a chance of “solving.” But the surge in migrants, and the resultant political fallout, has landed at Harris’ feet.
Still, some of Harris’s problems are of her own making, like her prosecutorial record, her stiffness, her tendency to speak nonsensically, and the way she treats her staff. And when you’re vice president to the seemingly frailest president ever, everything is under examination.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer 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 listens to Dokken.
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