U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has achieved another historic feat – but this time it’s not such a favorable one.
Harris’ approval rating hit an all-time low of 28 percent, with 51 percent of Americans saying they disapprove of the job she is doing, according to a poll released Sunday by USA Today and Suffolk University. The poll surveyed 1,000 voters and was conducted Nov. 3-5.
An approval rating this low is unprecedented, particularly this early in an administration’s term. The only other U.S. vice president to come close was Dick Cheney, whose lowest approval rating was 30 percent, according to Business Insider.
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel joked about the latest plunge in Harris’ ratings, blaming “sexism and racism” for the numbers.
“Americans really aren’t happy with (Biden’s) Vice President, Kamala Harris,” Kimmel said. “Kamala Harris has an approval rating of 28 percent, which makes no sense because she basically has nothing to do. I mean, it’s like criticizing a backup quarterback. Tom Brady, he’s OK. I don’t love the way Blaine Gabbert has his legs folded on the bench, I have to be honest.
“I think I know why Kamala’s ratings are low, besides sexism and racism, which are the obvious ones,” Kimmel continued. “It’s because whenever she’s next to Joe Biden, standing near or behind him, she looks like an assassin.”
Others point to the perception that Harris either isn’t doing anything substantial with her office or doing a poor job handling the items in her portfolio.
Ye – the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for president in 2020 – recently espoused the former point of view when he said in a recent interview, “We ain’t seen Kamala since the election.”
Though Harris is underperforming with Americans of all stripes, skepticism among Black Americans is nothing new. Harris failed to garner the support of Black voters during her presidential campaign and ultimately had to end it.
Some pundits said it was because Harris took the Black vote for granted while others said they didn’t think she could authentically relate to them.
“Black candidates make one primary mistake: They assume that they’re going to have the Black vote just because they’re black,” said Johnnie Cordero, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Black Caucus, in a 2019 Politico interview.
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“If Cory weren’t in the race, I probably would’ve selected her([Harris),” said Hattie McDaniel, a South Carolina state representative who supported Booker in 2019. McDaniel added that she “couldn’t find that true connection” to “the struggles that I had to go through to get to where I am … I saw more in Cory than her.”
In 2019, writer and academic Ricky L. Jones wrote in a column about Harris’ failed presidential bid that Black voters “didn’t support her because they didn’t trust her. And they were wise not to.”
Once Biden won the nomination, some Black voters changed their sentiment and celebrated Harris becoming the first Black woman to become a vice-presidential nominee. Many were ecstatic when the Biden-Harris ticket won.
That enthusiasm has waned and hope has turned to despondency as bills aimed at increased HBCU funding, reparations, police reform, voting rights, and other issues important to Black voters have failed to pass or been massively revised.