Media Attempts to Blame Race and Gender for Harris’ Tanking Poll Numbers  

lev radin /
lev radin /

Per a recent July 2023 poll, Kamala Harris and her historic vice-presidency are circling the drain. With an approval rating of 39%, she remains in a dead heat for least popular figurehead currently at the White House, sharing the honor with her boss President Joe Biden, who stands at 40% favorability. 

During a recent interview, ABC News Live Prime’s host, Linsey Davis, gave Harris an escape route to explain her unpopularity. Davis asked Harris how much of a role her race and gender play in her approval ratings, going on to mention that some reports claim Harris has the lowest approval rating of any vice president. 

Harris dodged the question, responding, “Well, there are polls that say I have great approval ratings.” Davis didn’t press her guest to point to one of those polls, but instead allowed Harris to have the last word on the “accomplishments” of the Biden-Harris administration. 

While the media takes the easy way out and blames Harris’ fall from grace on race and gender, her challenges have nothing to do with either one.  

Historically, the popularity of the vice president is affected by the approval rating of the president. At the beginning of 1999, as Bill Clinton’s popularity rose, then Vice President Al Gore polled at 64% favorability, with the president enjoying a 69% approval rating. 

In June of 1992, as George H.W. Bush’s favorability fell to 29%, Vice President Dan Quayle’s disapproval ratings grew to 59%. In 2020, former President Trump’s approval was 47% while Mike Pence remained in step with a 48% favorability rating for the vice presidency. 

Quite simply, Harris, while undeniably a bad choice for the office she holds, chose the wrong horse to hitch to her wagon.  

The job of the vice president is to tout the successes of the president, but Biden simply has no victories under his belt. Harris must defend the indefensible as Americans face one economic crisis after another under her watch. During the interview, Harris praised job creation and “integrity on the international stage.” She may or may not know that Biden’s alleged job creation numbers have been debunked, and only 40% approve of his handling of foreign policy, but it’s her duty to be his cheerleader. 

With Biden’s approval rating circling the drain, Harris’ ratings are tanking as well. And this is before her own lackluster job performance is factored into the equation. 

Harris’ first duty as the Biden-appointed border czar should have been to visit the border as security crumpled under the influx of migrants responding to the administration’s open invitation. She notably avoided the visit until June 25, 2021, in response to former president Donald Trump’s planned visit to embattled border towns.  

Instead of addressing the mayhem within the United States, Harris claimed to be “addressing the root causes” of immigration from countries such as Mexico and Guatemala. Her claim to fame was politely asking illegal immigrants from these countries not to come to the border. This marked the beginning of her decline in popularity, alongside Biden’s. 

But her record at the border alone isn’t enough to send her approval rating to the lowest point ever seen in a vice presidency.  

Harris talks down to her audience, using the most profound voice to impart meaningless drivel. Whether it’s her definition of transportation as getting people to the place they want to go, or her explanation of the conflict in Ukraine, Harris earns criticism every time she speaks. 

Her gaffes are rivaled only by Biden’s. From a bizarre attempt to define AI by pointing out it has two letters to accidentally calling for “population reduction” to battle climate change, Harris is known for “word salads” and nervous giggles when faced with challenging questions. 

Consider this gem relating to Jamaica’s recovery from the pandemic: “We will assist Jamaica in COVID recovery by assisting in terms of the recovery efforts in Jamaica that have been essential to, I believe, what is necessary to strengthen not only the issue of public health, but also the economy.” 

As if all this wasn’t enough, there is Harris’ ability to publicly humiliate herself in odd ways, such as tweeting that domestic flights don’t have accessible restrooms and creating controversy around one debunked component of Florida’s Black history curricula. 

To her credit, Harris did not take the bait Linsey Davis dangled in front of her. Considering how much of an emphasis Harris placed on gender and race during the election campaign, it’s surprising that she chose to ignore the opportunity. 

If the ABC News Live Prime interview is any indication, the media has already decided that Harris’ failure as a vice president is due to her race and gender. It’s unfortunate they can’t blame Biden’s failure on his.