For Biden supporters, there was no wrong choice for VP

August 12, 2020, 8:23 PM UTC

California Senator Kamala Harris was one of the best-known women being considered by former Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate.

What’s more, hardly any of Biden’s supporters said naming Harris might lure them away from the Democrat; in fact, few said the naming of any of the 11 women being considered would make them cease to support Biden, according to Economist/YouGov data.

Harris was the top choice of Black voters that support Biden, although half of them chose someone else, and one in four had no preference. In the West, her home region, a third of all Biden voters picked her (Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth were tied for second in that region).   

But nationally, Harris has slightly more registered voters viewing her unfavorably as favorably (the same was true of Warren and many of the other candidates). Within the group currently committed to Biden, one in five say they view Harris unfavorably.  

Black voters supporting Biden look the same as all Biden supporters in their opinion of Harris. A third of those who wanted Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to win the nomination have an unfavorable view of Harris. As a group, Sanders voters have been moving towards supporting Biden in the fall; in last week’s poll, 89 percent of them said they planned to vote for Biden. 

Harris’s re-introduction to the voting public before and during the Democratic National Convention creates an opportunity for her to improve her overall rating, as well as a chance to convince the skeptics that the presumptive Democratic nominee made the right choice. 

Methodology: The latest Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US registered voters interviewed online between August 2 – 4, 2020. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.3% for the overall sample.     

Image: Getty