Granite Staters like their new president. They like how he’s handling the COVID-19 crisis. And they really like the idea of Republicans reaching across the aisle to work with him.
The one thing New Hampshire doesn’t like? His running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris.
That’s according to the latest Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. And while the reliability of political polling is currently in question, it’s hard to dispute that President Joe Biden is enjoying a New Hampshire honeymoon.
The survey finds 55 percent of Granite Staters — and 98 (!) percent of Democrats — approve of the job Biden’s doing. Just 30 percent of the state’s voters disapprove.
The survey also shows 59 percent of the state approves of how he’s dealing with COVID-19, and 55 percent are either “enthusiastic” or “satisfied” with the fact Biden was elected president. All in all, pretty good numbers for Joe.
Which is why Harris’s high disapproval ratings stand out.
It’s hardly a surprise the Republicans don’t like her. In the survey, 85 percent of the GOP said they have an unfavorable view of Harris. But it is a surprise that 40 percent of unaffiliated voters and 47 percent of self-declared independents have an unfavorable view of the one-time presidential candidate.
Then again, she never had strong poll numbers here and was forced to drop out well before the First-In-The-Nation primary. In other words, Harris has never been popular in New Hampshire. Why?
Some Harris supporters insist the issue is bigotry. But New Hampshire voted for a black U.S. president twice, and backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Hardly the behavior of racist or sexist voters.
And it’s not just New Hampshire. A recent Pew Research poll found Biden had a 58 percent approval rating, while Americans were evenly split on Harris. “Half of Americans say the vice president-elect is qualified to serve as president, while nearly as many say she is not.”
One theory is that the perception of Harris as a West Coast progressive could put her at odds with moderate and independent voters. Pollsters were surprised that Joe Biden won a respectable four-point popular vote victory, but the GOP still picked up 13 congressional seats and flipped the New Hampshire legislature. A significant number of voters were comfortable voting for both Joe Biden and the GOP.
It’s reasonable to assume that those voters might be less-than-enthusiastic about Harris’s more aggressively progressive politics.
Harris made history when she was sworn in as the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice president. Thus far, however, her approval ratings are far from historic.