Voters trust Kamala Harris to handle presidency if necessary

Wednesday 29th May 2024 07:18 EDT

WASHINGTON: Vice President Kamala Harris is gaining traction among swing-state voters, a trend that could mitigate Republican concerns about President Joe Biden’s age. A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll from early May shows that 48% of swing-state voters trust Harris to handle the presidency if necessary, the highest confidence level since the survey began in October.

Harris’s popularity is bolstered by a series of high-profile events that resonate with key Democratic constituencies, Bloomberg News said listing her historic visit to a Minnesota abortion clinic, addressing the rollback of federal reproductive rights that has mobilized women voters, and a powerful speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, a Civil Rights landmark. The administration has also emphasized her personal story and public service record.

Republicans have questioned Biden’s suitability for a second term by portraying Harris as unprepared. These numbers should come as welcome news to the campaign. The Bloomberg poll also highlights Harris as the leading choice among Democratic rising stars if Biden were unable to continue his campaign. Harris leads with 45% support from swing-state voters if Biden withdraws before November. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg follow with 36%, California Governor Gavin Newsom with 32%, Maryland Governor Wes Moore with 23%, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker with 21%.

On the Republican side, if Trump exits the race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the top alternative with 40%, followed by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at 38%.

Harris’s growing appeal was evident during a recent Milwaukee, Wisconsin visit, where comedian D.L. Hughley publicly apologized to her. “I have to say that I’m sorry,” Hughley said. “I had let a media narrative co-opt my perspective, and I think that tends to happen with women and people of color,” Bloomberg News reported he said.

Over the past year, the White House has strategically positioned Harris. She often speaks to audiences of color and young voters, demographics showing high levels of disillusionment with the Democratic base. Recently, she went viral for encouraging young Asian Americans to pursue their careers assertively and dropping the f-bomb.

Harris has also increased her visits to competitive Western and Southern states, surpassing Biden in trips to North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada—states with significant Latino or Black populations, according to Bloomberg News.

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