Jun 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

NBC News poll: Kamala Harris hits record low for VP net favorability

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 24. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

49% of registered voters have a negative view of Vice President Kamala Harris, compared to 32% with a positive view, per a new NBC News poll.

Why it matters: NBC News says Harris' net-negative rating of -17 is the lowest for a vice president in the history of its poll.

Zoom out: In Oct. 2019, 34% had a positive view of then-Vice President Mike Pence, while 38% had a negative view, for a rating of -4, per NBC News.

  • In Dec. 2010, then-Vice President Biden's rating was +1, with 34% having a positive view and 33% having a negative view.
  • Former Vice President Dick Cheney's rating was +23 in May 2003, with 47% of registered voters having a positive view of him, compared to 24% having a negative.
  • In March of 1995, former Vice President Al Gore's rating was +15, with 42% having a positive view and 27% having a negative one.

Between the lines: "[It] shouldn't surprise anyone that there is going to be a different filter and a different focus put on the first woman to ever be Vice President of the United States, particularly a woman of color," Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher told Axios.

  • Belcher added that attitudes of vice presidents are typically on par with the approval of presidents.
  • 41.9% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing, while 53.1% disapprove, per FiveThirtyEight.

The big picture: White House officials have been working to repair Harris' public image and shore up her underwhelming poll numbers ahead of 2024, Axios' Alex Thompson previously reported.

  • White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients told Axios on Monday that he meets with Harris weekly and touted her policy ideas and leadership.
  • “If you think about what matters to the American people, it’s what the Vice President is actually doing and when the American people see her in action every day … I think the enthusiasm and energy is palpable,” Zients said.
  • “We just need to make sure that we do a good job of exposing” her to the American public, he added.

What's next: Harris is expected to appear more frequently to tout popular Democratic policy issues, such as infrastructure spending and abortion rights, as the election heats up.

Methodology: The NBC News poll was conducted June 16-20 and included 1,000 registered voters — 831 were reached by cellphone — and has a margin of error of ± 3.1 percentage points.

  • Among the poll’s 500 Republican primary voters, the margin of error is ± 4.38 percentage points.

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