Democratic Strategists Acknowledge Grim Reality: Kamala Harris May 'Do More Harm Than Good'

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Posted: Jul 30, 2021 9:00 PM
Democratic Strategists Acknowledge Grim Reality: Kamala Harris May 'Do More Harm Than Good'

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It's no secret that Vice President Kamala Harris has been doing a terrible job. And it's not just us saying so. The revelations have come over the past few months that working for her amounts to "an abusive environment." Top travel aides announced they were leaving right around the time Harris went to El Paso for her border trip. After reports of disastrous poll results, The Hill and The New York Post spoke to Democratic strategists, and they weren't playing around.

A Morning Consult-POLITICO poll from last week revealed that the vice president did not have good favorability ratings, with 45 percent of respondents regarding her favorably, compared to the 47 percent who do so unfavorably. She fared particularly poorly among women, with 43 percent viewing her favorably compared to the 47 percent who do so unfavorably.

According to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted July 24-July 27 with 1,500 U.S. adults, 48 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the vice president, which includes the 40 percent plurality of those who have a "very unfavorable" view. Just 43 percent have a favorable view.

The polls are not outliers. The RCP average has her at 45 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable. 

Reporting on the poll numbers for The Hill, Hanna Trudo and Amie Parnes spoke to Democratic sources, and even "Harris allies" are particularly brutal. Emphasis is mine:

A midterm visit by the vice president to a congressional district is generally a way to create crowds and win attention for candidates, but Harris’s polling numbers are raising questions about how she might be used as Democrats seek to hold on to slim majorities in the House and Senate.

“As of right now, I think she has the potential of doing more harm than good for some of these candidates,” said one Democratic strategist. “My sense is she’ll probably raise a lot of money and maybe she’ll go to some specific districts, but they’ll have to be really strategic with her.”

She doesn’t have the standing at this moment to go to a lot of these tighter districts,” the strategist added.

Even some Harris allies are skeptical that she will have a seamless go as a surrogate leading up to next year’s midterm elections. 

No one is coming out and saying she’s doing an amazing job, because the first question would be ‘On what?’" acknowledged one Harris ally. “She’s made a bunch of mistakes and she’s made herself a story for good and bad.”

Earlier this month Samuel Chamberlain with The Post pointed to concerns from Democrats that they would be in serious trouble if she were the nominee in 2024, which Matt also covered. Less than a month later, David Marcus had even more to report for the outlet, including how concerns to do with Harris "have potentially made her politically toxic."

A Democratic strategist weighed in, even comparing her mistakes to a comedy film:

One Democratic strategist told The Post, “This is less about the upcoming midterm and more about the future. There was a hope that she would grow into the role, but she keeps making mistakes, it’s like ‘Groundhog Day’ with her mistakes.

“If Biden doesn’t run [in 2024], is there comfort with her as the nominee? I’m not sure.”

When responding to allegations about the troublesome working environment from anonymous sources, the White House was largely dismissive. But these range of remarks are too similar and consistent, as are enough polls. The Democrats have a problem on their hands with the liability that is Vice President Harris. 

Republicans are also largely in a good place to gain back seats if only because of historical precedence dictating that in recent elections, the president's party almost always loses seats. Democrats have a single digit majority in the House and only have a majority in the 50-50 House because Vice President Harris is a tie-breaking vote.