54% approve of Harris selection, including 1 in 4 Republicans: POLL


AUGUST 16, 2020

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020. Carolyn Kaster/AP

More Americans approve than disapprove of Joe Biden’s choice of Sen. Kamala Harris for the 2020 Democratic ticket by a 25-point margin, 54-29%, in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Approval of the pick ranges from 86-8% among Democrats to 25-55% among Republicans — notable that one in four Republicans approves. It’s 52-29% among independents, potential swing voters in presidential elections.

See PDF for full results.

While reaction to Harris is broadly positive, the margin narrows among those who have strong opinions. Thirty-four percent of Americans strongly approve of her selection, while 22% strongly disapprove, a 12-point margin. One reason is that her strong support slides from 59% among liberals to 35% among moderates (and 17% among conservatives). It’s also 30 points lower among racial and ethnic minorities under 40 compared with those who are older.

An undated handout photo shows former Vice President and presumptive Democratic candidate for President Joe Biden with Sen. Kamala Harris, after the campaign announced Biden has chosen Harris as his vice presidential running mate, Aug. 11, 2020. – Adam Schultz/Biden Campaign via EPA via Shutterstock

Seventeen percent overall have no opinion in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates — and initial impressions can change. Views were similarly positive, 60-34%, when John McCain selected Sarah Palin for the 2008 Republican ticket. Opinions of Palin turned more negative as the campaign progressed.

Seventy-eight percent of Black people and 65% of Hispanics approve of Biden’s choice of Harris, compared with 46% of whites; these largely reflect partisan predispositions. Views are similar among women (56-29%) and men (52-30%). It’s 55-28% in the suburbs. And results are similar among all adults, registered voters and likely voters alike.

Apart from Republicans, disapproval of Harris’ selection is highest among conservatives (especially “very” conservatives), white evangelicals, rural residents and non college-educated white men, all core Trump support groups. Beyond Democrats and Black people, approval peaks among liberals, Northeasterners, those with postgraduate degrees and urban residents.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event after being named by Biden as his running mate, at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 12, 2020. – Carlos Barria/Reuters


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 12-15, 2020, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, with 75% reached on cell phones and 25% on landlines. Results have a 3.5 percentage-point error margin for the full sample, including design effects due to weighting. Sampling, field work and data processing by Abt Associates of Rockville, MD. See details on the survey’s methodology here