Kamala Harris’s Bumpy Ride to the Top: Evaluating the Vice President’s Presidential Chances

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Vice President Kamala Harris is the leading candidate to replace President Joe Biden on the ticket, should he decide to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race. However, her candidacy is not without its complexities, as it comes with both strengths and weaknesses.

If Harris becomes the presidential nominee, she will be able to leverage the Biden administration’s accomplishments while avoiding the criticism of Biden’s mental fitness for office. This could also mean she is tied to the administration’s flaws. She will likely run on a platform of continuity, emphasizing her partnership with Biden.

Consistent defender of Biden’s abilities

The 59-year-old vice president has consistently defended Biden’s mental and physical fitness, a move that has gained increased attention following Biden’s performance at the recent presidential debate, where he faced criticism for appearing disoriented at times.

Harris has been Biden’s strongest defender, countering criticisms with forceful rhetoric. For example, when special counsel Robert Hur made comments about Biden’s mental acuity in his report, Harris swiftly refuted them, labeling them as “wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated.”

Border management

Harris’s record on border issues and abortion access may serve as a double-edged sword in a presidential campaign. During her tenure as vice president, she has been tasked with leading diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle countries. Despite this, illegal immigration has continued to rise during the Biden-Harris administration.

Since January 2021, the United States has allowed over 5.3 million migrants who entered the country illegally or applied through “parole” programs to remain in the country. The U.S.-Mexico border has seen nearly 10 million people attempting to enter the country since February 2021.

Economic considerations

The economic landscape presents another challenge for Harris’s campaign. Republicans may have difficulty linking her directly to the Biden-Harris administration’s economic woes, such as high inflation. However, the duo’s joint messaging implies that their achievements are linked, meaning Harris will be saddled with the administration’s economic baggage.

The president is currently underwater in terms of his approval ratings on the economy, with a Real Clear Politics polling average showing a disapproval rate of 58.2%. Despite recent declines in inflation, it remains a persistent concern for the Federal Reserve. Harris has been at the forefront of the administration’s economic messaging, recently embarking on an “economic opportunity tour” to promote their economic vision.

According to a CNN poll released this week, a hypothetical election between Harris and Trump shows a narrower gap than previously reported. While Trump remains ahead of Biden by a 49%-43% margin, which mirrors the results from an April poll, his lead over Harris has diminished to a mere 2 points (47%-45%). Notably, the difference falls within the margin of error, suggesting that the numbers are close and could fluctuate.

Mike Brest
Mike Brest
Defense Reporter. Prior to joining the defense beat, he spent two years covering breaking news, and he worked at the Daily Caller in a similar capacity before that. Mike graduated from American University and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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