The most recent Ipsos-ABC poll reveals an important fact about the upcoming election: The selection of Kamala Harris as Biden’s vice-presidential candidate is a big mistake that could cost him the election.
The poll probed into Harris’ image with American voters and found it underwhelming. When pollsters detailed a series of positive phrases about Harris and then asked how well they fit her, only about 40 percent agreed that they did, well under the 50-plus percent vote share Biden got in the same poll.
A lot of Biden voters are not so sure about Harris.
The poll asked respondents whether Harris “shares your values.” Only 38 percent said she did while 36 percent said she did not.
Even on such a mild compliment as she “cares about people like you,” only 40 percent agreed while 34 percent disagreed.
And 40 percent said Harris was “too liberal” while 29 percent disagreed.
Is she “honest and trustworthy”? Only 40 percent said yes while 31 percent said no.
Even the easiest of compliments to bestow — she “is inspiring” — met with only 42-31 percent agreement.
And finally, on the key question, whether she is “qualified to serve as president should it become necessary,” the essence of the job of vice president, only 44 percent agreed while 32 percent disagreed.
Her drag on the Biden-Harris ticket was made most evident in the latest CNN poll, the only one so far to pit the two tickets against each other. It showed that the Biden-Harris ticket drew 50 percent support while Trump-Pence ran close with 46 percent.
And in 15 battleground states, the poll showed Biden-Harris with only a one-point lead, far less than any previous published poll.
So why is Harris such a drag?
Unlike a lot of VP candidates before her, Harris has just recently lost a race for the nomination for president. And lost badly.
She had to drop out before Iowa and New Hampshire. Voters have seen a lot of her in the Democratic debates and found her wanting.
But Biden’s deteriorated mental and physical condition — and his age — make the question of a possible Harris presidency rather immediate and almost imminent.
While voters may have a lower standard for vice president, figuring that she could grow into the job and be prepared when the distant day comes that she might have to become president, Biden’s frailty makes us measure Harris as a president right now. And we find her not qualified.
Also, everybody knows that she was not selected because she was the best-qualified candidate but rather because she was the best black woman for the job.
The very nature of her selection makes her a kind of affirmative action vice president whose credentials are suspect. All the more so because her career was launched and nurtured by her illicit lover California House Speaker and Democratic boss of San Francisco Willie Brown.
The fact that her selection was so determined by her race and gender leaves many to wonder how she feels about them. So it is no surprise that they doubt whether she shares their values or cares about people like them.
These hurdles might be overcome, but they are daunting and show what a risky pick Harris really is.
Notes on Night One of the Democratic Convention
More than anything else, it was clear that Biden is a one-issue candidate: the virus. If it were to go away tomorrow — and we could have a widely used vaccine by Election Day — he would have no real issue.
Plenty of candidates run for president on only one issue: Bush-43 on terrorism in 2004 and Bill Clinton on the economy in 1992 come to mind. But those issues had traction and would dominate the landscape for years. The virus could go away quickly. Nobody knows.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves the hypocrite-of-the-night award for complaining that Trump let the virus come in through travelers from Europe and failed to contain it once it arrived at our airports.
Has he forgotten where those airports are located? And who is the governor of that particular state?
Sharing in the hypocrite award is former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who lamented the fact that Donald Trump was nominated and elected. But he, more than anyone else, was responsible for Trump’s nomination.
Right after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz upended Trump in a surprise victory in Wisconsin’s primary, it became evident that only Cruz could overtake Trump. Yet Kasich doggedly held on to his candidacy, splitting the anti-Trump vote and effectively delivering to Donald the GOP nomination.
Cruz begged and pleaded with Kasich to pull out, but he refused and split the vote right up to the convention, forcing Cruz to withdraw.
And now he complains! Welcome to politics.
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