Despite media portrayals of the vice president as a groundbreaking, knowledgeable leader ready to take the nation by storm, reality has come crashing in on Kamala Harris of late, as evidenced by a recent poll, which pegs her current popularity lower than that of an especially polarizing predecessor in the office, as the U.K. Independent reports.
According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll published on Sunday, Harris’ approval rating among 1,000 registered voters came in at a startlingly low 28%, with 51% of participants expressing disapproval of her job performance.
The poll made headlines over the weekend largely because of the bad news it brought to President Joe Biden, whose own approval rating stands at a dismal 38%, but even that devastating result reveals that he enjoys a 10-point advantage over Harris.
The Independent notes that the outcome for Harris represents a record low for any American vice president in the modern era, even dipping lower than the approval rating of 30% notched by former VP Dick Cheney, who memorably – yet accidentally – shot a fellow hunting party member in the face during his tenure.
Notably, however, Cheney’s approval reached its low point as he reached the end of two terms in office as President George W. Bush’s second in command, whereas Harris’ popularity has fallen even farther in just under ten months into her current role.
Though Harris was the beneficiary of much optimism and confidence among the Democrat electorate upon taking office, her plummeting approval numbers are often attributed to her apparent unwillingness to tackle her assigned role as point person on the southern border crisis and her notable absence on many of the other crises that continue to engulf the administration in which she serves.
Given the traditional role of a vice president as his or her party’s heir apparent once the current occupant of the Oval Office serves two terms or steps aside for some other reason, these poll numbers are almost certainly causing sleepless nights among Democrat Party elites.
With evidence accumulating of Biden’s cognitive decline as well as the fact of his advanced age raising questions about his ability to mount a campaign for a second term come 2024, Harris’ descent in the polls poses a real dilemma for their party’s leadership, who may not yet know how to overcome the growing disdain among the electorate for the person they assumed would take the mantle.
As the supply chain crisis worsens, gas prices continue to rise, and Biden doubles down on unpopular vaccine mandates, it remains to be seen whether either the president or vice president will do what it takes stop the bleeding and start regaining Americans’ trust.