Democrats are despairing about the possibility of Kamala Harris becoming the 2024 nominee if President Biden doesn’t seek a second term in office, insiders told The Post.
Three polls just this month show more than 50% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Harris, and those headwinds will likely only increase should Republicans retake the House next year.
“Her main problem is not being a woman or mixed race, her problem is she has low ratings just like President Biden,” said Larry Sabato, a professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. “If Biden were riding sky high, she would be doing relatively well as well. She would be seen as a popular successor carrying on a popular president’s mandate.”
Political donors — who all requested anonymity to speak freely — are similarly beside themselves.
“She seems completely useless. No one involved in this administration should be in the running,” one significant Democratic donor told The Post.
Democratic insiders have fretted about Harris’ own bungled 2020 presidential campaign, during which she dropped out in December 2019, with an operation widely derided at the time as disorganized and riven with infighting.
Since being elected, those issues have continued to simmer, with her vice presidential office frequently in the news for staff turnover, with at least a dozen leaving. In April alone she lost her Chief of Staff, Tina Flournoy, and Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Fuchs. Staffers have griped anonymously that the mood internally is “dour,” “chaotic,” and that they are “treated like s—t.”
“She doesn’t know how to build a staff that has a common purpose. You see a lot of her staffers are doing their own thing. There is little guidance from her and it just looks messy all the time and all she can do when asked about it publicly and privately is giggle,” lamented a top Democratic staffer on capitol hill.
“I just don’t think people are seeing her as a serous contender,” he added. “If she weren’t the vice president she wouldn’t even been ON the list.”
Dislodging Harris, however, won’t be easy.
As the sitting vice resident, most agree that Harris is an immediate frontrunner in any potential open Democratic primary. She would come into any contest with the highest name recognition, which would offer a critical boost in early fundraising. If Biden doesn’t run again, 31% of voters said they would support her for the top job, according to a December poll from Morning Consult.
“Kamala is a strong black woman, the first elected vice president. Democrats can’t win without having high black turnout. She is a role model and a beacon to millions of people around the country,” said Chris Coffey, a Democratic political consultant.
Besides Harris, the list of Democratic 2024 aspirants may include New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is said to be taking a look, as well as California Governor Gavin Newsom, but neither have broad national followings. Sen. Bernie Sanders, 80, (I-Vermont), who recently had a heart attack, has not ruled out a third run for the White House.
The GOP primary is also up in the air. Polls have consistently shown former President Trump would win if he sought the 2024 nomination, but there is also growing enthusiasm around Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.