By Dave Andrusko
Let’s see. We’re pretty sure there are some obvious weaknesses that explain how pro-abortion President Joe Biden’s job approval can be a whopping minus 18 points under water, according to CBS (41% approval/59% disapproval) and a minus 14, according to USA Today (40% approval/54% disapproval).
The litany is obvious—the economy, foreign policy, leadership, direction the country is moving, and how much the President has aged.
But what about pro-abortion Vice President Kamala Harris? On the one hand, her job approval numbers have risen since they stood at 28% in November 2021.
On the other hand, Harris’s job approval number stands at 36.7%, disapproval at 56%, as compiled by FiveThirtyEight, a staggering minus 19.3%.
Ordinarily the vice president is expected to carry his or her home state and be appealing to demographics that are essential to winning. However, California, Harris’s home state, hasn’t been in play for Republicans since 1992. If you were to extrapolate her current numbers out to November 2024, it’s hard to see how she would be anything but a drag on Biden.
But everything is different in 2023. President Biden has announced he is running for another term. He would be 86 years old if he wins and serves out a full second term.
If he does, ordinarily there would be instantaneous speculation that his vice president—presumably Harris—would be the frontrunner.
That daunting prospect is why you get stories such as “Harris gets her cavalry: Top group plans to spend $10 million-plus to boost her” which ran in Politico on Monday. It’s a story about EMILY’s List, a political action group that only supports women who are abortion extremists It has promised to spend ‘tens of millions of dollars’ to defend and prop up the vice president during the 2024 election.”
“Such an investment in support of a sitting vice president,” Eugene Daniels writes,
is politically unprecedented. And it reflects the lack of broader efforts that have been made to date to help bolster the vice president amid persistently low approval ratings.
It also underscores the growing recognition that Harris may play an outsized role in what is sure to be a tough election. Republican presidential candidates have made it clear they will be using the specter of a Harris presidency as a way to hurt Joe Biden’s chances at reelection, particularly by raising questions about his age and capacity for the job.
Of course the administration denies that they haven’t made effort after effort to lift her profile. But that’s is hard to do when Harris is so wooden and so inarticulate.
But Daniels see her growing willingness to ad lib as a source of strength for Harris:
Harris’ allies say she feels much more comfortable in the position more than two years in. Behind the scenes, staff has worked to get Harris to be less scripted. Multiple times over the last few months, Harris has simply ignored prewritten remarks or notes and instead spoke off the cuff, a break from the more stilted and scripted speeches she would give earlier in her tenure. Staff believes she is getting more positive receptions from audiences.
Well….okay, and that may be true with supportive groups—like EMILYs List —that will cut her as much slack as she needs. But I suspect in another year even Harris’s supporters will run out of excuses and the truth will be obvious even to those who are her staunchest allies.