There have been calls for months for the Democrats to replace Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate in 2024.
The Vice President is struggling with her approval rates, with some polls suggesting a 20-point gap between those who approve and disapprove of her tenure so far. Biden’s is not much better, but Harris’ approval ratings are noticeably awful.
It’s not just the public who oppose her either. So incompetent do her opponents view her that one Republican candidate is running a campaign purely to “avoid President Kamala Harris”. Meanwhile, conservative commentators have explored the option of replacing her on the ticket with California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Nevertheless, there is a case for keeping Harris as Biden’s running mate due to her ability in several areas.
Democrats tend to appeal to younger votes, which has undoubtedly been helped by hardline Republican stances on abortion and equality. Come election day on November 5, 2024, Biden will be 81. The voters he desperately needs to vote for him, rather than vote against Donald Trump, will be some 60 years younger.
Harris has the youth on her side, recently launching a college tour to engage with young voters. Her relatively free schedule allows her to campaign on the President’s behalf, embarking on tours that the media has little interest in. If she’s able to reach enough students, she may be able to swing the vote in favor of a president who is neck and neck in hypothetical presidential election polls with his likely adversary.
Harris may receive criticism for her inaction, but she is far from silent. “Some Republican leaders are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women. How dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?” said Harris at an EMILY’s list conference earlier this year. “How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?”
It’s not just females or young voters who her message resonates with. Vice President Harris has focused on minority groups who have been slowly shifting away from the Biden-Harris ticket. While their votes are heading in the wrong direction for the Democrats, Harris’ commitment to energizing minority groups has likely reduced the mass flocking to Trump and the Republicans.
Kamala Harris Can Raise Money
Harris comes across as somewhat of a marmite character. Those who love her are frequently paying for tickets just to hear her speak, and that’s money the Biden-Harris ticket needs.
Since June, receptions at which Harris has attended have raised more than $2.5 million. Her campaigning efforts helped the Biden campaign raise $72 million in Q2 2023 alone – more than any other presidential or vice-presidential candidate.
“People want to see her, they want to meet her, they want to hear what she has to say,” Desiree Rogers, a former White House social secretary who co-hosted a Chicago fundraiser in July, told Bloomberg. “Had we had more space, we could have sold more tickets.”
It’s clear that Kamala Harris is performing well at her receptions and events which do not get covered on the daily broadcasts. Granted, it may impact her electability nationally, but if she is able to use her free time to engage and connect with voters, she may prove to be an essential component for Biden’s re-election campaign.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.