Swing Voters Reveal How Kamala Harris Helped Drive Them to Trump During Debate
A conversation with swing voters in Michigan has revealed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s decision to add Sen. Kamala Harris to his ticket might be driving many of them to vote for President Donald Trump in November.
Rich Thau of the analytics group Engagious spoke with 13 Michigan voters who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 but previously voted for former President Barack Obama.
During a remote conversation Thursday following Wednesday night’s debate between Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, the voters weighed in with the Engagious Swing Voter Project.
The small group dissected the debate performances of both candidates with Thau, and many of them indicated they were skeptical that Biden would complete a full term as president.
That’s where Harris came in with the voters, as the far-left senator from California would take the reins in the White House if Biden were unable to serve.
Eight of the 13 Michiganders who spoke to Engagious watched the debate, and 11 of the 13 said they are committed to voting for Trump.
In one group session, five of six voters who were asked if they thought Biden would be pushed out of office during his first term said they believed he would.
What bothered the Michigan swing voters about Harris, though, was her debate performance — and not for the reason you might think.
The majority of respondents were ultimately fearful that Harris was successful in portraying herself as a candidate worthy of being president.
While many said they thought Harris did well against Pence, they described the emotions of “fear,” “anger” and “indifference” when watching her during the debate.
One voter said she was outright “scared” with regard to the Democrat’s performance, which she said was strong enough that it could lead other voters to choose the Biden/Harris ticket on Nov. 3.
A woman identified as Shelley D. told Thau, “Biden’s not going to make it four years, so Kamala Harris is going to be president and I have zero trust she can be president, so I’m just picking the lesser of two evils at this point.”
The other respondents agreed with Shelley.
There was a near-consensus that Harris did well.
Some respondents told Thau they thought Pence could have done a better job but what bothered them was how other voters might perceive the debate.
As a man identified as Matt T. put it: “I’m fearful of this woman because she knows how to strike chords with the people of America.”
It seems Biden’s head-scratching pick of Harris, one of the most far-left senators in Washington, could be a double-edged sword: She impressed the Michigan voters while leaving them deeply concerned.
Her debate performance, which they felt was strong, did not win them over to Biden.
The takeaway is that they are afraid Harris will convince other swing-state voters that she is worthy of being president.
Adam M. in the group concluded: “I’m going to have to stick with [Trump] because I don’t know if the left will make due on the promises they’re saying right now.”
The Michigan voters essentially are decided — 11 of 13 of them, anyway — that they will vote again for Trump next month.
But Harris worries them, as she should.
Her voting record in the Senate is among the most liberal, according to GovTrack, and she and Biden continue to dodge questions about packing the Supreme Court and their support for a modified Green New Deal, which would put millions of people out of work.
Additionally, she’s not likable, she seems unlikely to unite voters in an already-divided country and she exited the Democratic primary without nabbing a single delegate.
As pollster Frank Luntz found out Wednesday when he conducted a focus group of 15 undecided voters in eight battleground states during the vice presidential debate, Harris is not relatable.
“The complaint about Kamala Harris was that she was abrasive and condescending,” Luntz said Wednesday, according to Fox News.
Harris is a liability who is among the party radicals using Biden to champion ideas that were inconceivable even for Democrats not long ago.
The 2020 rhetoric is out of the ordinary for Biden, who spent a long career in the Senate as a man who was relatively moderate and often worked with Republicans in a bipartisan way.
His Achilles’ heel seems to be Harris, who might be a deal-breaker with swing voters opposed to her radical views on taxation, energy, health care and gun rights.
The conversation between the voters and Thau was not scientific, but it gives us a look into the perspective of voters in one of the swing states that could decide the upcoming election.
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