Harris Sees Rise in Recent Polling as Biden's Approval Falls Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 30 September 2021 11:04 AM
Vice President Kamala Harris has seen her approval rating rise in recent polling, leaving her above President Joe Biden, whose own approval rating has fallen over the last few weeks, The Hill reports.
Gallup found in a poll last week that 49% approve of Harris’ performance as vice president, compared to 43% approval for Biden, which was a six-point decrease from the month before, and a 13-point fall since June for the president. The survey also showed that Harris holds a higher approval rating among independents than Biden, and that her current approval rating matches Biden’s in 2009, when he was serving as vice president to President Barack Obama.
One Harris ally told the Hill that she’s "found her place" in the administration.
"I think there’s definitely a feeling that things have been smoother," an ally noted. "It seems like they have ironed out some of the initial wrinkles."
Julian Zelizer, Princeton University professor of history and public affairs, said that Harris "started to solidify her position and strengthen the office, gaining a sense — always difficult for a VP — of what her role should be in the administration."
He added that "the key will be how those numbers hold as policy controversies continue and politics heats up."
Democrat strategists said that no one particular event or action has improved Harris’ numbers, with Basil Smikle, the former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, saying there was "nothing specific" when asked about a notable moment for Harris.
He also said that the White House could use the vice president more effectively by virtue of her being more accessible than Biden.
"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," Smikle said.
Christy Setzer said that "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’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."