OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
It’s possible that Kamala Harris may wind up becoming the most impactful vice president in modern times as the 2024 election cycle is set to begin in earnest.
Republicans are gearing up to pair her historic unpopularity with President Joe Biden’s age-related struggles as they seek to put one of their own back in the White House, Fox News Digital noted on Thursday.
“Harris is an unpopular vice president. Like her running mate, President Biden, has ridden the low 40s in most approval polls as of late,” the report said. “In fact, across approval rating polls, Harris hasn’t gone out of the 40s in her approval rating since her first year in office in 2021.”
The report comes as Biden is experiencing the lowest approval rating of his presidency, according to Gallup.
Several politicians and strategists who spoke with the outlet have suggested that, despite her lack of popularity even among some Democrats, the impact of Harris’ position could play a significant role in determining the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.
The negative perceptions of Harris and Biden among Americans are viewed as political baggage heading into a potentially challenging re-election campaign for the presidential duo. The challenges are compounded by Biden’s age; he will be 81 on the day of the 2024 election.
Harris has downplayed her lack of popularity among Democrats, dismissing it as “political chatter,” but Politico reported that members of her party are hesitant to publicly voice their concerns about Biden’s age for fear of Harris becoming the alternative option.
Since her run for the White House in 2019, Harris’ lack of popularity has been a consistent issue. During that campaign, then-Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is now an independent, publicly criticized Harris on national television. Gabbard recently stated to Fox News Digital that “Kamala Harris is clearly unqualified to be the Commander-in-Chief.”
“This should be a major issue for voters, but the mainstream media will continue to try to cover for her because they don’t want the American people to know the truth,” Gabbard told the news network.
“The Biden Administration has already brought our country to the brink of nuclear war with Russia and the new cold war with China is heating up quickly,” she added.
Some Republican strategists have expressed the view that Harris could be a significant obstacle for Biden in the upcoming election.
“If anything happens to Biden, does anyone want Harris? She is personally unlikable and inarticulate,” Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe said, adding, “Kamala Harris hurts Joe Biden.”
“She dropped out of the 2020 Democrat primary before Iowa. Her own party didn’t want her. She was a diversity, equity, and inclusion hire,” she said.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump’s 2020 strategic communications director Marc Lotter told the outlet that nobody “votes for the bottom of the ticket.”
“They vote for the names at the top of the ticket,” Lotter said. “However, given the clear decline in President Biden, I would expect additional scrutiny over Vice President Harris, but still, the election will come down to the top of the ticket.”
GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Digital that the “first decision Joe Biden made as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 was one of his worst: tapping Kamala Harris to be his running mate.”
“She is the ‘least improved player’ of the Biden Administration and also the least engaged,” Conway said. “The Vice President’s accomplishments are few, her gaffes many; she suffers from high staff turnover and complaints that she does not put in the work necessary to be second in command.”
“Polls show that most Americans agree,” she continued. “Harris’ approval ratings are even poorer than Biden’s. It’s hard not to wince when she speaks, and even harder not to worry, given that her boss is every minute of 80 years old.”
“No inspiration. No aspiration. No preparation. No way to get Kamala off the re-election ticket, either. Most Democratic candidates did not invite her to campaign with them in 2022. It will be harder to hide her — and Biden — when her name is on the ballot in 2024,” said Conway. “She has not been an asset. There is little confidence in her competence. That popular assessment is not racism or sexism. It is eyesight and hearing.”
And conservative columnist Kristin Tate said: “Kamala Harris is one of the most unlikable and uninspiring public figures in modern political history.”
“She was selected as Joe Biden’s running mate in 2020 to check a box, and will serve the same purpose for the Biden campaign in 2024,” Tate added. “Harris herself will not be a selling point for voters.”