Last week proved to be a challenging one for Vice President Kamala Harris, with her popularity taking a significant hit. According to a recent poll released by NBC News, only 32 percent of registered voters held a positive view of VP Harris, while 49 percent expressed a negative view, including 39 percent who had a “very negative view.” This resulted in a net rating of -17, making it the lowest approval rating for any vice president in the history of the poll.
Comparatively, previous vice presidents experienced higher approval ratings at a similar point in their terms. In October 2019, then-Vice President Mike Pence had a 34 percent positive rating and a 38 percent negative rating, resulting in a net -4 rating. In December 2010, then-VP Joe Biden had a 34 percent positive rating and a 33 percent negative rating, yielding a +1 rating. Even Dick Cheney had a much more favorable rating in May 2003, with 47 percent positive and only 24 percent negative, resulting in a +23 rating. In March 1995, Al Gore had a 42 percent positive rating and a 27 percent negative rating, giving him a +15 rating.
The poll’s findings were seized upon by Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld, who used the opportunity to criticize the Biden administration, specifically targeting Vice President Harris. Gutfeld sarcastically remarked that Harris had made history by becoming the most unpopular vice president on record, surpassing the likes of Al Gore, Joe Biden, and even Dick Cheney, who famously had a hunting accident.
Critics of Harris may argue that Gutfeld’s comparison to Bud Light, a popular but controversial beer brand, was actually quite generous. Despite facing backlash and a 24.4 percent decline in sales, Bud Light remained the second best-selling beer in the American retail market. Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, even launched a new ad campaign to revitalize the brand.
Similarly, the Harris team has attempted a “reset” strategy, featuring appearances during Pride Month and speeches addressing contentious issues such as the overturning of Roe v. Wade. While Harris has shown some improvement in articulating her positions, her poll numbers suggest that much more work needs to be done to regain public support.
Although Kamala Harris may be finding her footing and attempting to course-correct, the reality of the poll numbers indicates a significant challenge ahead. Just as Bud Light’s recent ad campaign faced mockery and declining sales, Harris must overcome the growing dissatisfaction among voters and work to rebuild her image and approval ratings.