The Biden-Harris administration continues to face a wave of bad polling news. An ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed that 64% of voters disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy while an NBC News poll showed that he is down by double digits among key Democratic voting blocs with a 72% disapproval rating on the economy. Furthermore, Vice President Kamala Harris has been receiving low net favorability ratings with a 31% positive and 51% negative score.
Representative James Clyburn, an Assistant Democratic Leader in the House, appeared on “Meet the Press” to discuss the current polling situation of the Biden-Harris campaign. Clyburn blamed Harris’ poor polling numbers on her status as the first woman of color to be vice president. He used this as an excuse for her lackluster performance in the polls, completely ignoring the possibility that her unpopularity may have roots in her actions as a politician. Clyburn did add that Harris is capable of being president if called upon to do so, but it is unclear why he did not mention her actions as vice president.
Just 31% of Americans have a favorable view of Kamala Harris — even lower than Biden.
Jim Clyburn says it's because she is a "woman of color and first woman to be vice president," but insists "she has the capacity and capability to be president." pic.twitter.com/G6WF9jnc33
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 24, 2023
What makes Clyburn’s support of Harris even more significant is that many prominent Democrats have been hesitant to give Harris a strong endorsement to be Biden’s running mate again. This unwillingness has raised questions as to whether those Democrats and a majority of Americans feel like she would be a good fit to lead the country in the event that Joe Biden decides to step down. However, Clyburn’s strong support of Harris indicates that he is willing to rally the troops on her behalf.
It is clear that Clyburn holds a significant amount of power in the Democratic party, and Biden is likely to feel beholden to him due to his instrumental role in pressuring Biden in 2020 to nominate a woman of color as his running mate. However, the insistence on Harris as VP in 2024 is concerning given her unpopularity. It seems as though the same identity politics that got Harris picked in the first place are going to be what keeps her on the ticket – regardless of her negative impact on Biden’s campaign.
As the 2024 election approaches, Republicans should use this overwhelming tendency towards identity politics as a way to advocate for good policy. Democrats are proving time and again that they are far more concerned with physical characteristics than with actual accomplishments in office. This is not a successful way to govern.