President Biden’s approval rating has now sunk below that of his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, who has suffered from her own dismal approval ratings recently, according to a recent Gallup poll.
About 44% of Americans approve of the job Harris is doing, while only 43% approve of the job Biden is doing, according to the poll.
The difference is approval ratings is only one percentage point, but Harris’ approval rating has already dropped quite low.
The vice president, the first woman and woman of color to hold national elected office, has been heavily criticized by Republicans and has been the subject of frustration among Democrats in recent weeks.
Insiders told CNN last month that the White House and Harris’ office have grown frustrated with each other as Harris struggles to find focus and organization as vice president. Meanwhile, her supporters have complained that Biden simply is not giving Harris the opportunity to lead and succeed.
Harris has been particularly criticized for her strategy — or lack of it — on the southern border. Biden tapped her with handling the migration crisis in southern states, but her chosen strategy has been widely regarded as largely ineffective.
Harris has said that her “primary focus” in dealing with the border is to address the “root causes of migration” out of Central American countries like Guatemala. However, migrants continue to cross the southern border into the U.S., overwhelming border authorities and immigration courts.
Mark Morgan, the former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, called Harris “out of touch” on the problems at the border.
“I think what all Americans want, regardless of their political affiliation, is to feel safe and secure in their neighborhoods and their communities, and that starts with border security,” Morgan said.
Meanwhile, Biden has political and legislative issues of his own that are not helping his poll numbers.
The president’s Build Back Better Act, his signature $1.9 trillion social spending bill and a key campaign promise, was effectively tanked days before Christmas when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) refused to vote for it.
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it,’” Manchin said during an appearance on Fox News in which he announced his opposition to the massive spending plan.
“Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” Manchin said.
Progressive Democrats fumed at Biden’s failure to secure enough Democratic support for his promised spending plan.
“We have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin, but it’s really up to leadership in the Democratic Party who, you know, made the decision to get us to this juncture and how we’re going to move forward,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said of Manchin’s opposition to the spending bill.
The Gallup poll surveyed just over 800 U.S. adults over telephone between Dec. 1 and 16.