Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Kamala Tries to Hit Reset (Again) on Tanking Public Image

Vice president's current approval rating sits at 49%, making her among the least popular in modern history...

(Coleman Hopkins, Headline USA) While Vice President Kamala Harris has been ambivalent about national issues such as the ongoing border crisis, she is giving significant attention to one internal problem: her continuous decline in popularity.

The Washington Examiner reported that Vice President Harris had hired Lorraine Voles and Adam Frankel—two long-time aides to Democratic Party elites specializing in communications and speech-writing, respectively—to provide guidance and assistance on messaging and organization, among other things.

This move comes as Harris enters uncharted territory as perhaps the most unpopular vice president in the age of polling.

Her current approval rating sits at 49%, while her boss, President Joe Biden has a 43% approval rating, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The same problem with translating her personal charisma (or lack thereof) into public support also vexed Harris and her team in 2019, when sinking polls during the Democrat presidential primaries forced her to exit the race before one vote was cast.

Then, as now, Harris received lots of affection from media outlets and reporters while struggling to make inroads with voters.

Based on policy-specific polling, it seems that Harris’s recent decline in popularity may be attributable to her mishandling of the border crisis—a responsibility that President Joe Biden delegated to her earlier in the year.

At the same time, Biden’s approval numbers are falling as Americans knock the administration for its handling of the economy, the deadly coronavirus pandemic and the border, among other things.

Barring a dramatic turnaround, being stuck with the stigma of a failed Biden presidency could dim Harris’s own future presidential aspirations.

More immediately, though, it may present problems for Democrats hoping to retain control of Congress next year.

As the two main figureheads of their party, Biden and Harris face an uncomfortable situation with the 2022 election cycle approaching and their own approval ratings below 50%.

Given Biden’s limited ability to campaign and to provide organic, unscripted remarks, one would assume that the responsibility to campaign would fall on Harris. But any success with this endeavor is contingent on her approval and ability to interact with voters.

One sign that Harris may not be up to this task is the disappearance of the more egregious celebratory pieces by large media corporations.

If this is a sign of her long-term trajectory, then perhaps the White House will be forced to hire a larger team of consultants to reinvent Harris’s image before the 2022 races kick off in earnest.

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