Vice President Kamala Harris has failed to gain the popularity needed to be a viable presidential candidate in 2024, New York magazine reported Monday.
Nineteen months after celebrating Harris’s rise to the rank of vice president on the cover of Vogue magazine, New York magazine has soured on Harris by chronicling her downward trend and questioning her 2024 viability.
“Eighteen months in, thanks to a combination of Biden’s age and unpopularity, the lingering pandemic and punishing inflation, a relentless opposition, and — most visibly — her own struggles to communicate a satisfactory role for herself, Harris has reached an unparalleled low point,” the article by Gabriel Debenedetti read.
In recent months, multiple senior officials in Harris’s office have departed or will depart in the coming weeks. The departures include her “chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, communications director, spokeswoman, national security adviser, and speechwriter (twice), and her longest-serving senior aide, domestic-policy adviser,” the article pointed out.
The departures come as Harris has struggled to fulfill President Joe Biden’s orders. Harris was given the task of reducing illegal immigration and federalizing local elections. Yet those tasks remain unfulfilled, leading to some of the lowest polling numbers a vice president has ever earned:
Her popularity started sinking when she first visited Central America and appeared dismissive of a suggestion that she visit the border. Behind the scenes, she was worried the assignment to take on the migrant crisis was a clear political loser. When critics latched on to her admonition to would-be migrants — “Do not come” — her frustration grew, as this was the administration line. Later, she remained silent at a tense meeting with Biden, letting other officials speak when he asked for updates. Afterward, she told aides to underscore that she was focused on the origins of migration, not the border itself. Her other top priority — voting rights — was no less publicly frustrating when the administration’s preferred legislation predictably failed in the split Senate. Some close to her wonder why she didn’t muscle her way into leading more popular projects: implementation of the COVID-relief-bill spending or, later, the infrastructure package.
The missteps have caused former President Obama allies to question if Harris is ready for the big stage in 2024 after imploding in 2020, Debenedetti wrote. It is unknown if Democrats will support Harris if Biden does not run for reelection. “Jockeying from other potential competitors, such as frenemy Gavin Newsom, suggests that few would defer to her if Biden retired,” the article read.
But Harris is still vice president, and many believe she will assume the presidency before Biden’s term ends. According to a McLaughlin & Associates poll in June, 50 percent of voters believe it is “likely” Harris will become the president before Biden ends his four-year term.
The poll also revealed Harris would only win five percent of the vote if the 2024 election were held today. The poll placed her in fourth place overall, while Biden claimed 23 percent of the vote. If Biden does not run for reelection, that number increased to 13 percent.
According to a Quinnipiac poll in July, Harris’s approval rating is worse than Biden’s in almost every category. Overall, Harris’s approval rating is 26 percent, five points worse than Biden’s at 31 percent.