Sen Kamala Harris ( Photo by Gage Skidmore)

A new poll conducted by ABC News and Ipsos suggests that Harris received strong marks for favorability among voters.

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden took a while to announce his running mate, but perhaps it paid off. A new poll released Thursday found that nearly half of voters believe Kamala Harris is a good Vice President pick.

The poll, conducted by ABC News and Ipsos, found that of the four major party candidates, Harris is the only one with a net positive favorability rating. 

Voters find Harris “inspiring”

The survey asked a sample of registered voters for their impressions of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Biden, and Harris.

Most voters find Trump unfavorable, as he leads in the negative margin with a 24-point deficit. Pence came in second in unfavorability with a 14-point deficit, and Biden had a 5-point deficit. Harris, on the other hand, had a 5-point positive margin.

Harris garnered positive responses among Americans familiar enough with her to form an opinion, which accounted for two in three survey respondents. Though she is less well-known than other candidates, her favorability rating of 35% marks an accomplishment at a time of deep political divide and disdain for the nation’s leaders.

Among Democrats, Harris’s favorability soars to 71%. Among Black Americans, a core constituency of the party’s base, Harris’s rating stands at 52%.

Biden’s decision to place Harris on the ticket garnered a 40% approval rating, with 23% disapproving the move, and 26% seeing it as a negative reflection of his ability to make important decisions.

In an email to his supporters, Biden wrote, “you make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your Vice President. I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”

The poll also reports that more Americans find Harris qualified to serve as President if necessary than those who do not. Pence’s rating for President also received more total responses for qualified than not qualified, though his margins were slimmer than that of Harris.

For the Biden-Harris ticket, the question of qualification to serve as President if necessary may be more salient because if elected in November, Biden will be the oldest first inaugurated president in the country’s history at the age of 78.

Harris’s selection as Vice President drew criticism from progressives who find her history as a tough-on-crime prosecutor unideal. Eight percent of registered voters view Harris as too conservative. That percentage ticks up to 13% among Democrats, 15% among Black Americans, and 18% among Hispanics. 

Still, as the first woman of color on a major party ticket, Harris’s nomination made history. Harris is considered more inspiring among Americans than Pence, 40% to 28%. Historically, too, Harris is more well-known at this stage of the election cycle than past vice presidential picks, with higher national recognition than Pence and Senator Tim Kaine, who ran alongside Hillary Clinton, according to a 2016 ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The poll interviewed 1,044 adults and 930 registered voters between August 11 and August 12 using Ipsos’s probability-based KnowledgePanel. Among survey respondents, 83% identified as Democrats. 

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...

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