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Vice President’s Unpopularity Could Help Sink Federal Election Overhaul

David Harsanyi writes at National Review Online about Vice President Kamala Harris’ potential impact on Democrats’ federal election scheme.

Now that Vice President Kamala Harris has apparently squared away the crisis at the southern border — along with the root causes of Central American migration — she’s been delegated a new project. …

… In this case, not only would Harris need to convince Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — and other, perhaps less talked-about, purple-state holdouts — to support a federal takeover of elections, she will need to sway both into destroying Senate norms. Manchin and Sinema have both claimed on numerous occasions that they won’t blow up the filibuster.

Barack Obama would often give Biden administrative tasks — most famously heading up the stimulus distribution, because “no one messes with Joe.” It made some sense, as Biden had built relationships with Republicans over his three decades in the Senate. Yet Harris was easily one of the most partisan senators in D.C. Her behavior during the Kavanaugh hearing was despicable. Voter sentiment regarding Biden’s handling of immigration dropped after he named Harris to head up the efforts. Immigration is now one of Biden’s weakest issues. As Charles Cooke recently detailed, despite the media’s best efforts, Harris is unpopular. She garnered only 3 percent support nationally in her party’s primaries, and only 7 percent support in her home state of California. A YouGov poll finds her net-approval rating ten points underwater among all voters — 25 points underwater among independents, with a substantial percentage having a “very unfavorable” view of her.

It’s difficult to know what to make of the assignment. Is Biden deviously throwing Harris another doomed political project to deflect from his own problems or is he attempting to raise her profile as heir apparent? Failure isn’t going to help in the latter cause. Then again, when it comes to H.R. 1, a bill George Will rightly calls “constitutional vandalism,” Harris’s failure would certainly be in the nation’s best interests.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...