What does America think of Kamala Harris?

Note to readers

This story will no longer be updated. For the latest on the vice president, check out Covering Kamala Harris.

The Times is tracking the latest national opinion polls to help gauge how voters view Vice President Kamala Harris. A California native, Harris is the first female, Black, and South Asian American to serve as the nation’s second in command.

As of April 23, 39% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Harris and 55% had an unfavorable opinion — a net rating of -16 percentage points, according to a Times average. This page will update as new polls arrive.

  • Favorable poll
  • Unfavorable poll

RealClearPolitics, Times analysis

Since taking office, Harris has been assigned one of the administration’s thorniest issues: stemming the influx of immigrants attempting to cross U.S. borders. Republicans have sought to make her the face of an issue that they believe could help them politically.

After taking on that role, Harris’ approval ratings began to decline, with unfavorable opinions surpassing favorable ones in June 2021. Whether the decline is directly related to the immigration debate is uncertain, however, as the dip in her approval also corresponds to a small decline in President Biden’s job approval.

The dip followed an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, where Harris bristled at a question about why she had not visited the border, triggering criticism. Comments about immigration and the United States’ southern border during visits to Mexico and Guatemala have also sparked controversy.

The decline also corresponds with studies showing that Harris, like other female politicians, has increasingly become the target of online abuse. As Harris’ stature has increased, so has the volume of sexist, violent and misogynistic attacks against her on social media, with researchers finding hundreds of thousands of examples.

How Harris compares to her predecessors

Past polls show how the favorability of previous vice presidents changed during their first four years in office. Harris' net favorability is slightly lower than that of former Vice President Mike Pence at this point in their respective tenures, and it's well under the ratings of three previous vice presidents.

Harris’ net favorability versus past vice presidents

Mike Pence (2017-2021)

Joe Biden (2009-2013)

Dick Cheney (2001-2005)

Al Gore (1993-1997)

As the country has become more partisan, vice presidents have been less likely to enjoy broad support among the public. Pence, for example, had a net favorability of roughly zero for much of his four years in the White House. Joe Biden, Dick Cheney and Al Gore all began their tenures with higher ratings than Harris currently enjoys.

How different groups view Harris

The vice president’s favorability among voters varies greatly depending on their politics and demographics, according to data gathered as part of the most recent YouGov poll.

The largest difference is partisan, with opinions split down party lines. Generally, Harris does better with women, African American voters and college graduates.

Favorable, unfavorable and don’t know/no opinion

YouGov | Updated: April 23

How opinions about Harris have changed

Routine nationwide polling of Harris began in late 2018, when it became clear she planned to run for president. A review of 484 polls conducted since shows how she has become better known nationally and how views about her have evolved over time.

Favorable and unfavorable ratings

  • Favorable poll
  • Unfavorable poll

After joining the race, Harris’ favorability gradually declined through the summer and fall of 2019. When she dropped out in December of that year, her public polling largely stopped.

In the spring of 2020, amid speculation about Harris joining the Democratic ticket, she returned to pollsters’ radar. Her favorability starting rising in August when Biden made her his vice presidential pick.

After becoming vice president, Harris was asked to lead the administration’s response to the contentious issue of immigration. Her handling of the topic has been criticized, which some observers link to her approval rating sinking at a greater rate than Biden’s thus far.