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Kamala Harris Surges as Top Choice to Replace Joe Biden: Poll


Vice President Kamala Harris is surging as the top choice to replace President Joe Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket should Biden decide to withdraw his candidacy in this year’s presidential election, according to a new poll.

Pressure has been mounting for Biden to step aside due to concerns about his fitness following a heavily criticized performance in the June 27 presidential debate with former President Donald Trump. The president has repeatedly said that he has no intention of pulling out of the race and the majority of Democratic power players have publicly remained supportive.

Regardless, speculation about Biden stepping away has persisted, with some calling for the president’s withdrawal suggesting that he should be replaced by someone other than Harris. Democratic governors like Gavin Newsom of California, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania have all been floated as alternatives.

A poll released on Wednesday by The Economist/YouGov suggests that an increasing majority of Democratic voters support the vice president as Biden’s possible replacement, although Democrats appear to be sharply divided on whether or not Biden should drop out.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are pictured at the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 4. A poll released on Wednesday indicates that support for Harris as Biden’s potential replacement in…


MANDEL NGAN/AFP

The poll, which was conducted from July 7 to July 9, found that 73 percent of Democratic voters “somewhat” or “strongly” approve of Harris as Biden’s replacement. In an earlier iteration of the same survey, conducted from July 3 to July 6, a 66 percent majority of Democrats approved of Harris as a replacement.

Newsweek reached out for comment to the office of Harris via email on Wednesday night.

Alternative candidates for the Democratic nomination lagged far behind Harris. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who competed against the Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries, was the second most popular choice, with 57 percent approval. Just 50 percent of Democrats approved of Newsom as a replacement, while 45 percent chose Whitmer.

However, the poll also found that Democratic voters believe that Biden has the best chance of beating Trump in a November rematch, with 55 percent saying that the president would “most likely” win. Only 46 percent said the same of Harris, with confidence for the success of alternative candidates being even lower.

When asked if “Joe Biden should step aside as the Democratic nominee for president and allow another Democrat to run,” 42 percent of Democratic voters said that Biden should “definitely” or “probably” step aside, while 45 percent said that he should not.

Among respondents of all parties, a 45 percent plurality said that Harris was not “qualified to be president.” An 88 percent majority of Republicans said that the vice president was not qualified, while 79 percent of Democrats said that she was qualified.

The poll was conducted by YouGov using online interviews among 1,620 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.

While Harris has repeatedly said that she supports Biden remaining at the top of the ticket, resistance to Biden’s candidacy continues to grow among some Democrats.

Senator Peter Welch of Vermont became the first Democratic U.S. senator to call for Biden’s withdrawal on Wednesday, while former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that Biden needs “to decide if he’s going to run.”

Actor George Clooney, a prominent Democrat who co-hosted a successful Biden fundraiser just weeks ago, also called on the president to drop out in a New York Times opinion article on Wednesday.