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HomeMarketMay Kamala Harris beat Donald Trump in November's presidential race? By Reuters

May Kamala Harris beat Donald Trump in November's presidential race? By Reuters


By Nandita Bose, Jeff Mason and Bianca Flowers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – She worries Republican donors, has title recognition, and Democratic Occasion heavyweights are starting to line up behind her.

Vice President Kamala Harris could be President Joe Biden’s pure successor if he bowed to rising strain and stepped apart because the Democratic candidate within the 2024 election, prime Democrats say.

Now celebration donors, activists and officers are asking: Does she have a greater probability than Biden of beating Donald Trump? Biden is staying within the race, he has mentioned repeatedly.

Harris, 59, a former U.S. senator and California legal professional common, could be the primary lady to turn into president of the USA if she have been the celebration’s nominee and prevailed within the Nov. 5 election. She is the primary African American and Asian individual to function vice chairman.

Her three-and-a-half-year White Home tenure has been characterised by a lackluster begin, workers turnover, and early coverage portfolios together with migration from Central America that didn’t produce main successes.

As not too long ago as final 12 months, many contained in the White Home and the Biden marketing campaign crew privately apprehensive Harris was a legal responsibility for the marketing campaign. The state of affairs has modified considerably since then, Democratic officers have mentioned, as she stepped ahead on abortion rights and courted younger voters.


Current polls counsel Harris may do higher than Biden in opposition to Trump, the Republican candidate, though she would face a decent contest.

A CNN ballot launched on July 2 discovered voters favor Trump over Biden by six proportion factors, 49% to 43%. Harris additionally trailed Trump, 47% to 45%, inside the margin of error.

It additionally discovered independents again Harris 43%-40% over Trump, and reasonable voters of each events desire her 51-39%.

A Reuters/Ipsos ballot after final week’s televised debate between Trump and a faltering Biden discovered Harris and Trump have been almost tied, with 42% supporting her and 43% backing him.

Solely former first girl Michelle Obama, who has by no means expressed any curiosity in moving into the race, polled larger amongst doable options to Biden.

Inner polling shared by the Biden marketing campaign after the talk exhibits Harris with the identical odds as Biden of beating Trump, with 45% of voters saying they’d vote for her versus 48% for Trump.

Influential Democrats together with U.S. Consultant Jim Clyburn, the person who was key to Biden’s 2020 win; Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York congressman and senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Summer season Lee, a Home Democrat from Pennsylvania have signaled Harris could be the most suitable choice to steer the ticket if Biden chooses to step apart.

Home Minority Chief Hakeem Jeffries has additionally privately signaled the identical to lawmakers, a Congressional aide mentioned.

Harris is taken so significantly, two Republican donors instructed Reuters they would favor for Trump to face Biden than her.

“I would prefer Biden to stay in place” relatively than get replaced by Harris, mentioned Pauline Lee, a fundraiser for Trump in Nevada after the June 27 debate, who mentioned she thought Biden had proved himself to be “incompetent.”

And a few on Wall Road, an necessary Democratic fundraising middle, are beginning to point out a desire.

“Biden is already behind Trump, and is unlikely to be able to overcome that gap given where his campaign is currently. Having VP Harris likely improves Democrats’ odds of taking the White House,” mentioned Sonu Varghese, international macro strategist at Carson Group, a monetary providers firm, after the talk. “There’s potentially more upside for her chances than Biden’s at this point.”

A majority of People see Harris in a detrimental mild, as they do each males working for president.

Polling outlet 5 Thirty Eight mentioned 37.1% of voters approve of Harris and 49.6% disapprove. These numbers examine to 36.9% and 57.1% for Biden, and 38.6% and 53.6% for Trump.


For the reason that Supreme Court docket repealed girls’s constitutional proper to abortion in 2022, Harris has turn into the Biden administration’s foremost voice on reproductive rights, a difficulty Democrats are betting on to assist them win the 2024 election.

Some Democrats consider Harris may energize Democratic-leaning teams whose enthusiasm for Biden has pale, together with Black voters, younger voters and people who don’t approve of Biden’s dealing with of the Israel-Hamas battle.

“She would energize the Black, brown, and Asian Pacific members of our coalition…she would immediately pull the dispirited youth of our country back into the fold,” mentioned Tim Ryan, a former Democratic Congressman from Ohio, in a latest op-ed.

Democratic and Republican suburban girls might also be extra snug together with her then Trump or Biden, he mentioned.

As vice chairman, Harris’s public Israel technique is an identical to Biden’s, though she was the primary senior chief of the U.S. authorities to name for a ceasefire in March.

“Simply swapping out the candidate does not address the central concern” of the motion, mentioned Abbas Alawieh, a member of the nationwide “Uncommitted” motion that withheld votes for Biden within the major based mostly on his help of Israel.

If Biden have been to step apart, there may very well be a contest between different Democrats to turn into the nominee.

If the celebration have been then to decide on one other candidate over Harris, some Democrats say it may lose the help of many Black voters who have been crucial to Biden’s election win in 2020.

“There is no alternative besides Kamala Harris,” mentioned Adrianne Shropshire, govt director of Black voter outreach group BlackPAC. 

“If the Democratic Party thinks that they have problems now with their base being confused… Jump over the Black woman, the vice president, and I don’t think the Democratic Party actually recovers.”


Nonetheless, Harris could wrestle to reel in reasonable Democrats and the impartial voters who like Biden’s centrist insurance policies, some Democratic donors mentioned. Each events search independents to assist pull them over the ending line in presidential elections.

“Her greatest weakness is that her public brand has been associated with the far left wing of the Democratic Party … and the left wing of the Democratic party cannot win a national election,” mentioned Dmitri Mehlhorn, a fundraiser and adviser to LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman. “That is the challenge that she will have to overcome if she is the nominee.”

Harris would take over cash raised by the Biden marketing campaign and inherit marketing campaign infrastructure, a crucial benefit with simply 4 months earlier than election day on Nov. 5.

However any Democratic marketing campaign nonetheless wants to boost a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars} extra earlier than November to achieve success, strategists say. And there, Harris may very well be a legal responsibility.

“I can tell you we have a really tough time raising money for her” mentioned a supply on the Democratic Nationwide Committee.

As a presidential candidate forward of the 2020 election, Harris lagged Biden in elevating cash. She dropped out of the race in December 2019, the identical month her marketing campaign reported $39.3 million in complete contributions. Biden’s marketing campaign reported $60.9 million in the identical interval.

Nonetheless, Biden’s marketing campaign raised a report $48 million within the 24 hours after he named Harris as his working mate in 2020.

Harris’s prosecutorial background may shine in a head-to-head debate in opposition to Trump, some Democrats mentioned.

“She is incredibly focused and forceful and smart, and if she prosecutes the case against the criminality of Donald Trump, she will rip him apart,” mentioned Mehlhorn.

Republican assaults on Harris are ramping up as she has been floated as a doable Biden substitute. Conservative speaking heads are re-circulating criticism leveled at her in the course of the 2020 race, together with from some Democrats, that Harris laughs an excessive amount of, that she is untested, and unqualified.

Kelly Dittmar, a political science professor at Rutgers College, mentioned the assaults are a part of an extended historical past of objectifying and denigrating girls of shade in politics.

“Unfortunately the reliance on both racist and sexist attacks and tropes against women running for office is historically common and persists to this day,” mentioned Dittmar.


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