https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/New-poll-shows-Kamala-Harris-has-support-for-2024-17201341.php

If President Joe Biden decides to not run for re-election in 2024, the obvious heir-apparent to the 79-year-old commander-in-chief seems like it would be Vice President Kamala Harris, the former junior senator from California.

Despite this — as well as Biden’s insistence he plans to seek re-election as long as he remains in good health — Democratic aides and strategists quoted in national news outlets have done a lot of speculating that Harris would be a weak candidate and invite multiple high-profile challengers. Just this week, New York Magazine reported on a “flurry of sub-rosa activity” from other possible 2024 contenders “which suggests a potential Harris candidacy may not be intimidating enough to keep others away from 2024.”

Many of these strategists also don’t think she has the juice to compete in a general election against Republican candidates such as Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. While they may be right about her general election prospects, a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll indicates aides and strategists might be misreading her chances in a primary contest.

The poll, which surveyed 1,963 registered voters last week, found that Democratic voters largely prefer Harris to other nationally known liberals if Biden decides not to run in 2024. She came out above nine other Democrats listed on the poll, garnering 19% approval from those surveyed.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tied for second with 10% each. Sanders has signaled that he’s open to a 2024 run if Biden steps aside, but a Clinton candidacy seems unlikely given the embarrassing beating she took in the 2016 presidential election. What’s important to note, though, is that no matter how you divide the percentages among the Democrats listed on the poll, no candidate seems likely to muster enough support to beat Harris outright.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — moderates who could earn support from those who favored Clinton if she doesn’t run — only earned 7% and 3% approval from those surveyed, respectively.


Progressive lawmakers such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez each earned 4%. If they don’t run and all of their supporters voted for Sanders in a primary instead, he still wouldn’t eclipse the support Harris earned from those surveyed in the poll.

Polling isn’t an exact science, and more than one-third of respondents said they weren’t sure who’d they vote for, or preferred a different candidate not listed on the poll. If it came down to a primary contest between Harris and Sanders, those non-committals could easily make the difference.

If Trump earns his party’s nomination, the poll shows that he could triumph over Biden and Harris in one-on-one contests. Those surveyed preferred Trump to Biden by a margin of three percentage points, and Trump to Harris by a margin of seven percentage points. But in those theoretical match-ups, 13% and 14% of those surveyed — respectively — said they weren’t sure who they’d vote for.

Interestingly, the poll shows that Harris could triumph over DeSantis in a general contest if he won the GOP nomination over Trump. She edged him out by three percentage points among those surveyed, but 20% of respondents said they weren’t sure who they’d vote for in that contest — more than enough to sway the outcome either way.

As for whether Biden should run in 2024? More than 50% of voters surveyed said they have doubts about his mental fitness, and a whopping 62% of respondents said they think he’s too old to run for a second term in 2024. If he does run again, he’ll be just days away from his 82nd birthday by the time election night comes around.

You can check out the full poll results here.

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