News & Politics

Democrats Bewildered at the Unpopularity of Kamala Harris

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Democrats have been flogging the image of Kamala Harris for more than six months, trying to show Americans why she should be popular, and the public isn’t buying it.

The efforts and the expectations of success by Democrats say a lot about the party and their myopic view of the voters, which has cost them dearly during the last three national elections. A party that tells most voters they’re “racist” and says those same ordinary people must be cleansed of their “systemic racism” and delusions of “white supremacy” shouldn’t have to wonder why people don’t like them very much.

But the Democrats keep doubling down — as they did with Harris. The vice president is among the most unpopular vice presidents in modern history and, true to form, Democrats can’t figure out why on earth that might be true.

A recent YouGov poll revealed that Harris’s net approval rating is ten points underwater among all voters and 25 points underwater among independents, 44 percent of whom say they have a “very unfavorable” opinion of the vice president.

Charles W. Cooke in NRO:

Still, that Harris is unpopular should come as no great surprise, given that she somehow manages to combine into a single package a transparent insincerity, an unvarnished authoritarianism, and a tendency toward precisely the sort of self-satisfied progressivism that helped the Republicans to limit their losses at the last general election. If her apologists wish to, they can pretend that the reaction Harris yields is “gendered” or “systemic” or “inequitable” or whatever other bastardized academic term is fashionable this week, and they should feel free to knock themselves out doing so. Deep down, though, they must know that America isn’t the problem here. The problem is that Harris is a phony. It remains the case that, throughout her entire public career, almost nobody has looked at Kamala Harris and thought, “Yes, she’s the person we need to lead us.” Sure, she’s won a couple of elections. But even in deep blue California, she has struggled.

Harris won her state attorney general race by 74,000 votes out of 9.6 million cast. Her two terms as California AG were marked by a “tough on crime” reputation she cultivated to win a narrow election to the Senate.

For some politicians, it’s all about rising and Harris tried to use the slightly more visible platform as a senator to run for president in 2020. She was a complete failure, getting only about 3 percent support nationwide and only 7 percent in her home state of California. This, despite her abandonment of a common-sense approach to justice in service of a far more radical agenda in order to appeal to the far left of the Democratic Party.

The radical left loves Harris because she checks so many boxes: female, black-Asian (a twofer), and progressive. The mystery is why she’s so deeply unpopular.

The vice presidency may, indeed, be “not worth a bucket of warm piss,” but it seems indisputable that the Democratic Party has a real interest in Harris being more popular than she is. Joe Biden is 78 years old — older than any president has ever been at any point in American history. There is no guarantee that Biden will finish his first term, and there is even less of a guarantee that he will run again in 2024. In either case, when Biden leaves the White House, Kamala Harris will be his presumptive heir, and, in both cases, the Democratic Party — which explicitly put Harris there because she is a female minority — will struggle mightily to extricate itself from the dead weight she brings along. “Look at this historic vice president who, of course, shouldn’t be the actual president” is not exactly a winning message, is it?

If you live by identity politics, you will die by identity politics. In urban and suburban America, identity politics will get you elected, or at least, not prevent you from winning. But in the rest of the nation, it’s a different story. Most Americans in Middle America hate identity politics and what it’s doing to the United States. And they don’t trust politicians who promote identity above all.

Until Democrats learn that lesson, they will continue to be “surprised” by election results.