Democrats alarmed as Kamala Harris’ popularity sinks ‘underwater’
US Vice President Kamala Harris addresses the National Bar Association virtually at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) via Getty Images)
US vice president Kamala Harris has been rated as the most unpopular American vice president since at least the 1970s, claimed a recent media report on Sunday (1). She has spent almost six months in her new role.
Citing two recent polls where it emerged that most of the Americans are not happy with her job performance, a recent report claimed that Harris’ “floundering” poll numbers show that she is “underwater”, implying more Americans disapprove of her than approve of her performance.
The recent polls by Economist/YouGov showed just 46 per cent of Americans approve of Harris. The poll also found most young Americans disapprove of her as 41 per cent of voters aged 18-29 had an “unfavourable” view of Harris, with only 36 per cent viewing her “favourably.”
By contrast US president Joe Biden’s approval rating in an average of polls is 51.3 per cent, and disapproval is 44.9 per cent.
The only recent vice president to have similarly poor ratings after six months was 48th vice president Mike Pence, Harris’ predecessor, but he was also not “underwater”, the report said.
Harris is the first African-American, Indian-origin female Vice President of the US. She gained popularity on social media during her campaigning days in the US election 2020 owing to her Indian-origin-related posts along with her academic achievements.
The revelations reportedly have been disappointing to Democrats who said to have high hopes riding on her. Reports said that Democrats not only expected Harris to help Biden in US election 2020, but some strategists have also been hoping that she might be able to replace him in the next elections- either in 2024 or 2028.
Harris may have alienated some Hispanic voters by telling people from Central America “Do not come” to the US, the report said, adding that she also infuriated conservatives and some independents by delaying her visits to the border.
The White House intends to deploy her in certain areas to campaign ahead of next year’s midterm Congressional elections, the report said, adding that she will be sent on foreign trips in the coming months in an attempt to raise her profile.
As part of its plan to boost Harris overall popularity, the White House announced she will become the first US vice president to visit Vietnam next month, in a move aimed at raising pressure on China, The Telegraph said in a report.
Professor Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said: “Biden has given her some very tough assignments – immigration and voting rights – but she hasn’t helped herself, she’s made some mistakes, like not going to the border.”
Claiming that “outside of California nobody knew who the hell she was” before being selected as Biden’s running mate, Sabato said that Harris needs to “take one of those two big issues Biden has given her and make it a big success” to transform her image, report said.