As Biden’s reelection effort kicks into overdrive, some political analysts see VP Kamala Harris’s poor polling as a major liability.

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks with JDCA leaders on Martha’s Vineyard. June 6, 2023. (Photo: Jewish Democratic Council of America)

Democrats are wrestling with an age-old problem,” Kathleen Parker suggested on June 14 for the Washington Post: “Maybe Hillary Clinton could come to the rescue.

“Inarguably, a significant obstacle to a Biden win is Kamala Harris, whose low popularity has not been improved by her lackluster performance as vice president,” mused Parker. “More independents and disenchanted Republicans might swing for Biden if it weren’t for the prospect of a President Harris — not because of her sex, race or any other demographic category, but because of her competency, or lack thereof.”

“I’m not alone in suggesting that Biden replace Harris, perhaps in exchange for a key role in his administration,” added Parker. “Serving as attorney general at least would be in her wheelhouse. Several alternative candidates have been suggested, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and, needless to say, Taylor Swift. (Kidding, though her outspoken contempt for Trump isn’t nothing.)”

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton, as Kathleen Parker points out, has recently been hitting the campaign trail on behalf of other candidates.

Hillary Clinton endorses ‘Squad’ member Jamaal Bowman’s challenger, George Latimer,” wrote Sudiksha Kochi for USA TODAY on June 13, 2024.

Rep. Bowman is facing increasing headwinds in his district due to his views on Israel’s conflict with Hamas, among other reasons. Clinton’s endorsement in the race isn’t without benefits.

“Some polls show Latimer leading the race by a wide margin,” Kochi mused. “For instance, an Emerson College poll conducted between June 6 and June 8 shows Latimer leading Bowman 48% to 31%. Twenty-one percent of voters said they are undecided.”

“Why would she suddenly get involved in a congressional race?” wondered Kathleen Parker for the WP. “We are left to speculate about motive, but the effect of Clinton inserting herself into the news cycle is to remind voters that, but for her defeat in 2016, we wouldn’t be stuck in this old-White-men dilemma. She is also reminding people of her relative centrism, her support for Israel and her broadly respected role as secretary of state.”

“No one has mentioned her as a possible running mate for Biden far as I know, but why not replace Harris with Clinton?” ventured Parker. “At 76, she might want no part of it, but it’s hard to retire when you feel your job isn’t done. If Biden needs to step down, even those who didn’t vote for Clinton would have confidence in her ability to keep the country on track. It’s just a thought, but worse ideas have met with regrettable success.”

While the Democratic Party is concerned about President Biden’s polling troubles, former President Donald Trump has been gaining strength in the polls. His odds have been improving, according to various betting sites and aggregates.

The Economist recently projected Trump to win with 74% certainty.

A second Trump term: from unthinkable to probable,” revealed The Economist last week.

In “Introducing our 2024 American election forecast model,” The Economist did not have good news for the U.S. Democratic Party.

“Our statistical forecast, which we launch this week, gives Mr Trump a two-in-three chance of winning in November,” the outlet revealed. “This is the same model, plus some refinements, that made Joe Biden a strong favourite to become president in 2020. Tested on election data from previous elections (with no knowledge of the outcome), the model gave Barack Obama about the same chance of winning in 2012 at this point in the race as it gives Mr Trump now.”

The Economist model was wrong in 2016, however; like nearly everyone else: “Models, though they offer a rigorous way to think about the world, are not crystal balls,” as The Economist put it.

It’s still sobering for Democrats, but the situation may not be as dire as it appears. Not even Republicans are prepared to take Trump’s improving poll numbers at face value.

Ignore The Polls,” advised Shawn Fleetwood for the Federalist on June 12, 2024. “If you read nothing but posts from conservative influencers on X, you’d be convinced that Donald Trump has already won the 2024 election. The source of this sensationalized optimism comes from public polling data, which shows the former president with leads in key battleground states he needs to win this November.”

It’s an excellent point: Voter turnout, along with dozens of other factors, can impact the outcome of any election.

The popularity of political figures is only one metric.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)