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Sunday, April 21, 2024

CBS News poll finds Democrats are satisfied with — but not as enthusiastic about — Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris’ job approval continues to track closely with President Joe Biden’s, as it has throughout the term. Vice presidents are often connected to an administration’s fortunes, for better or worse, and in this case perhaps partly because most say they have not heard much about Harris’ work as vice president, specifically.

That includes half of Democrats who haven’t.

But Harris actually draws more attention — and ire — from the right: it’s Republicans who feel they know a lot more about her. It’s notable in context as some GOP primary rhetoric has focused on her in making arguments against Biden’s reelection.

Democratic enthusiasm about Harris on the ticket is lower now than it was when she joined the 2020 ticket. Today, most Democratic voters are satisfied with Harris as Mr. Biden’s running mate in 2024, but few are enthusiastic, and that contrasts with how Democratic voters viewed her in 2020, when most were enthusiastic about her.

Black Democrats are the most enthusiastic about Harris today, as they were three years ago.

It’s actually more Republicans who say they’ve heard a lot about Harris’ work, likely a result of her being the focus of criticism from GOP primary campaigns. It could also signal some work ahead for Democrats if they aim to build that 2020 enthusiasm back up.

Harris’ perceived impact on the Biden administration is net positive for Democrats, though not overwhelming in magnitude. That is, Democrats say she’s made them think better rather than worse of the administration by four to one, but another half say the job she’s doing doesn’t really matter to their views of it.

Just before she took office in January 2021, half of Americans called it a good thing that Harris was the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president. Today, more say that doesn’t matter to them.

For a recent historical comparison, former Vice President Mike Pence also didn’t get majority positive approval, and neither did former President Trump under whom he served – but Pence did get higher numbers than Trump when he was measured during their first year in office.

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,335 U.S. adult residents interviewed between September 5-8, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.7 points.


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