Kamala Harris ‘Lined Up’ To Succeed Biden Despite Unpopularity – In a recent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” California Governor Gavin Newsom suggested that if Biden were to step aside, Vice President Kamala Harris would be his natural successor.
“I think the vice president is naturally the one lined up,” Newsom stated firmly, dismissing any possibility of challenging Kamala Harris in such a scenario.
Newsom’s endorsement of Harris as Biden’s potential successor carried significant weight, coming from a potential primary challenger.
But the confidence Newsom expressed in Kamala Harris contrasts recent polling data, raising questions about how American voters perceive her readiness for the free world’s top job.
Crushing Polls: Public Doubts About Kamala Harris’ Performance
Even as Newsom made his remarks, a CBS News/YouGov poll delved into the public’s opinion of Harris, and the results were less than encouraging.
According to the survey, 42 percent of Americans felt that Harris’s performance in her role made them think worse of the Biden administration, while only 18 percent believed it had a positive effect.
The breakdown along party lines was stark, with 76 percent of Republicans expressing a negative view of Harris’s impact, compared to just 41 percent of Democrats who viewed her positively.
Independents, too, leaned toward a negative perception, with 48 percent believing she had a detrimental effect compared to 9 percent who saw her positively.
Diminished Democrat Enthusiasm
Furthermore, the poll revealed that only 30 percent of Democrats expressed enthusiasm about Harris as Biden’s running mate.
While a majority of Democrats were “satisfied” with her on the ticket, the number of enthusiastic Kamala Harris supporters had dwindled significantly from the time Biden initially selected her in 2020, dropping from 58 percent to the current 30 percent.
While the focus has often been on the potential scenario where Harris would ascend to the presidency, assuming Biden seeks reelection, the more immediate concern is how voters’ perceptions of Harris might impact the Democratic ticket. Republicans and conservative media have frequently raised the possibility of Harris replacing the nation’s first 80-year-old president.
Former 2024 GOP candidate Nikki Haley voiced her concerns, stating, “We will be in a world of hurt if Kamala Harris becomes president.” In response, Harris dismissed such concerns as Republican fear, asserting that their attacks stem from their anxiety over the accomplishments of the Biden administration.
The current 32 percent who believe Harris is ready to assume the presidency represents a significant drop from August 2020 when 44 percent expressed confidence in both Harris and then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Voters ‘Uncomfortable’ With Harris
A comparison with the 2008 election provides additional context. In a Fox News poll on the eve of that vote, 74 percent of Democrats were “very” comfortable with then-Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden serving as president, while 62 percent of Republicans felt the same about then-Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin. Clearly, America as a nation is pretty concerned and uncomfortable overall with Kamala Harris.
Things have obviously changed a lot in the intervening 15 years. A recent Suffolk University poll showed that only 57 percent of Democrats were “very comfortable” with Harris becoming president.
The uncertainty surrounding Harris’s readiness for the presidency appears to be a concern reflected in multiple polls. While Republicans may focus on this issue to draw attention to Biden’s age, the data suggests that it is a genuine concern shared by a significant portion of the American electorate.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.