The Los Angeles Times looks like it could be starting to sour in its love for Vice President Kamala Harris. In Noah Bierman's article published on Tuesday, he warns that "Even voters who like Kamala Harris worry about her future."
The interviews between passerby and a reporter took place in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
While Susan Giffen, 69, does have concerns with how "sexism" could affect Harris' chances, she's still not her top choice:
Susan Giffen, a Democratic voter who lives in one of the nation’s most important political swing districts, said Vice President Kamala Harris is savvy, asks perceptive questions and would make a good president.
But Giffen, a 69-year-old retiree from New Hope, Pa., believes it will never happen.
“Absolutely not,” she said while running errands before an afternoon swim. “I’d vote for her. But I don’t think she can win. And I wouldn’t vote for her in a primary.”
Giffen isn't the only one who wouldn't vote for Harris in a primary. The former presidential candidate had her chance and she dropped out so early, on December 3, 2019, that she didn't even make it to the Iowa Caucus, held months later.
Bierman does go out of his way to regard certain criticisms of Harris as apparently racist and sexist. "It’s impossible to quantify how many of Harris’ political struggles are the result of racism and sexism — both blatant and subtle — and how many stem from her actions and personal qualities," he wrote.
It's not clear how all the following examples necessarily have to do with the serious charge of sexism:
Some of Harris’ challenges, including the perception that she is not a central player in the administration, have bedeviled her predecessors to varying degrees, given that the No. 2 job requires deference. Others are unique to the nation’s first female vice president: Two men told a reporter outright that a woman should never be president; a third said she “cackles” too much; a fourth called her “a joke,” who was put in her job as “a trophy.”
It's especially nonsensical to chalk criticism over how she "cackles" to sexism when the vice president truly has laughed at the most inopportune moments. Recently, she laughed at reporters who were asking her questions about Afghanistan before she gave a response. And, she didn't even let the reporter finish her question.
Clearly, Harris is doing something wrong, considering her favorability ratings are and have been terrible:
Polls show she is faring far worse than three of her four most recent predecessors at this point in their tenures, and only slightly better than the fourth, Vice President Mike Pence, who served a uniquely unpopular president, according to a Times analysis of polling data. On average, Harris is viewed negatively by 49% of voters, compared with 43% who see her in a positive light, about 10 percentage points worse than Biden’s favorability numbers.
The good news for Harris amid the negative poll numbers is that some voters say they simply don’t know enough about her and are willing to give her a chance. Some Democrats who worry about her say they believe she is being ill-served.
“She’s got her act together, but sometimes when she says things, it comes across a bit abrasive and maybe too aggressive,” said Edwina Thompson, an administrative assistant who did not want to give her age.
That's some way of considering something to be "good news," though Bierman's spun in yet another way too:
An NBC poll released last week and taken before the troop deaths showed more people hold “very negative” views of Harris — 36% — than any of her predecessors. That’s in part the result of relentless attacks from Fox News and other conservative media and a more polarized political environment.
It’s also increasingly hard to argue against the role her race and gender play.
Townhall's coverage from July highlighted negative perspectives against Harris in one particular poll released at the time by Morning Consult-POLITICO. Women actually had a more unfavorable opinion of the vice president, with her favorable-unfavorable ratings at 43 and 47 percent among that demographic, respectively.
Bierman and some Pennsylvanians bemoan sexism and racism, but they themselves also point to legitimate concerns with the vice president, which are particularly relevant since Harris would become president should President Joe Biden not serve out his term.
It's actually the Democrats for whom race and gender matter most. After all, let's not forget Biden chose Harris as his running mate in large part because she checked off the diversity boxes, in spite of all the ways in which Harris attacked Biden. No wonder Jill Biden had such strong words for the current Vice President, a woman who was Biden's adversary turned running mate.