Narrative shift: Are Democrats planning to install Kamala?

by Meredith Minto

New polling shows Kamala Harris is rising in the ranks as Joe Biden sinks to the bottom with each passing week, but what does this mean for the future of the Biden administration?

A Gallup poll released last week indicated Kamala Harris’ poll numbers exceeded Biden’s by nearly six points. Her approval sat at 49 percent while Biden’s was at a dismal 43 percent, according to the polling company.

Harris’ approval is just where Joe Biden’s approval was circa 2009 when he was Barack Obama’s vice president, The Hill noted.

There is no specific reason strategists can point at to explain why Harris is in a better position than the President, especially considering that she has not carried out duties assigned to her by Joe Biden, such as handling the border crisis.

Harris was criticized earlier this year when she was placed in charge of the southern border but did not take any action, but quickly visited after President Donald Trump announced a visit to Texas to assess the situation with Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas.

Biden’s numbers are underwater after he received criticism from both sides of the aisle over the disastrous Afghanistan exit and rising inflation. Most recently, the attention has been placed on the Build Back Better Infrastructure bill that would cost over $3.5 trillion dollars. This bill is causing disagreement not just with Republicans, but it is also instigating a great divide between moderate and progressive Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.

Strategists, according to The Hill, say factors playing into Harris’ success in the polls could include the focus on Biden and the White House holding Kamala at arm’s length. Basil Smikle, the former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party told the outlet, “The White House could bring her in more closely — as other administrations have — but they seem to keep her at a little distance, which may have been helpful to her in the long run.”

As Biden flounders, Harris has remained focus on the party’s mission. Harris joined Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., during his recall election, and has been fundraising for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for the gubernatorial election in the commonwealth of Virginia, in addition to appearances on behalf of other Democrat initiatives.

Another Democratic political strategist, Christy Setzer, told The Hill, “My instinct is to say that so much fire has been aimed at Biden, Harris’s numbers have gone up by sheer virtue of being out of the spotlight.” She went on to say, “She’s not giving anyone fresh reason to dislike her, so her polling numbers revert to the mean, with the country about evenly divided on the Black woman in the No. 2 spot.”

Speculations as to whether Biden will be the Democratic nominee in 2024 have already begun, and rising poll numbers for Harris might deem her the favorite as speculation and extreme bipartisan criticism of the Biden administration continues.

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