Kamala Harris
Several Democrats have hinted that Harris is the frontrunner to replace Biden if he chooses to quit the Presidential race. File photo

Does Kamala Harris have a better chance at beating Trump than Biden?

Polls suggest Harris could be a stronger Democratic candidate than Biden to take on Donald Trump

US Vice President Kamala Harris is in line to replace Democratic candidate Joe Biden if the former choses to step aside from the Presidential race.

Amid growing chorus to replace Biden with a stronger candidate, what works in Harris’ favour is increasing support for her from Democratic Party heavyweights.

Fifty-nine-year-old Harris, the first American of African and Asian descent to serve as vice president, would be the first woman president of the United States if she is chosen as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the elections slated for November 5.

Even though Harris’ 'mis-steps' have led to a fall in her approval ratings – with just 39 per cent of voters approving her as per the FiveThirtyEight average of national opinion polls – they are much better than Biden’s.

Her advocacy in favour of abortion rights has made her a favourite among young voters.

Can Harris defeat Trump?

However, the question many have posed is whether the former senator and California attorney general, will be a tougher contender to Donald Trump than Biden.

Recent polls answer in the affirmative while hinting that it will be a closely contested election if Harris is pitted against Trump.

According to a poll by CNN details of which were released on July 2, voters favoured Trump over Biden by six percentage points, 49 per cent to 43 per cent. The poll revealed that Harris trailed Trump, 47 per cent to 45 per cent, within the margin of error.

The poll also found that Harris was backed by Independents 43 per cent to 40 per cent over Trump while moderate voters of both parties preferred her 51 per cent to 39 per cent.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken last week found that Harris had 42 per cent of voters backing her against Trump’s 43 per cent, with a faltering Biden pushed to the sidelines.

According to Reuters, internal polling by the Biden campaign also revealed Harris to be a strong contender against Trump with 45 per cent of voters willing to voter for her while 48 per cent said they will go with Trump.

Democrats favour vice president

Several Democrats including US Representative Jim Clyburn, New York congressman Gregory Meeks, and Summer Lee, a House Democrat from Pennsylvania have said on record that Harris is the frontrunner to replace Biden if he chooses to quit the Presidential race.

Other candidates who are being considered are Democratic governors Gavin Newsom (California), Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Andy Beshear (Kentucky) and Roy Cooper (North Carolina) as well as transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and Ohio senator Sherrod Brown.

A fresh list of names is being considered following Biden’s dismal performance at the debate on June 27 in which he fumbled through his speech even as his opponent Trump came out as rather forceful and confident despite dishing out false information.

Republicans have also hinted that they would prefer Biden to fight Trump than Harris.

Also rallying behind Harris are members of Wall Street, a key Democratic fundraising centre.

“Biden is already behind Trump and is unlikely to be able to overcome that gap given where his campaign is currently. Having VP Harris improves Democrats’ odds of taking the White House,” Reuters quoted Sonu Varghese, a global macro strategist at Carson Group, a financial services company.

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