Due to Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s advanced age and questions about his mental acuity, some voters believe it’s likely that vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris would end up replacing Biden as president — and they don’t trust her.
After watching the recent vice-presidential debate between Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, a focus group of Michigan swing voters said that the thought of Harris as president actually made them want to vote for Trump even more.
Harris turns off swing voters
Former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway had taken notice of the results of that focus group, particularly the assertion by one participant — which all others agreed with — that Biden seemed unlikely to serve an entire four-year term, meaning Harris would eventually become president, a proposition she had zero confidence in.
Focus Group of Michigan swing voters: Harris is why I’ll vote for Trump. “Biden’s not going to make it 4 years, so Kamala Harris is going to be president & I have zero trust she can be president,” Shelley D. From @axios: “EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GROUP AGREED” https://t.co/A7s8uqlhZ5
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 9, 2020
Conway’s tweet included a link to an Axios report on the focus group, which included 13 voters in Michigan who had supported former President Barack Obama in 2012 but had switched party allegiance and voted for President Trump in 2016.
According to the report, only two of those voters intended to switch back to the Democratic Party with a vote for Biden, citing the coronavirus pandemic response and the faltering economy as their reasons why.
“She’s making really strong points, but I don’t think they’re true”
A participant by the name of Shelly D. said after the debate, “Biden’s not going to make it four years, so Kamala Harris is going to be president and I have zero trust she can be president, so I’m just picking the lesser of two evils at this point.” Axios noted that all of the rest of the group agreed with that sentiment.
Even those participants who liked Harris and thought she did a good job debating Vice President Mike Pence remained unconvinced that she was capable and ready for the top job. A participant named Adam M. said, “I’m going to have to stick with [Trump] because I don’t know if the Left will make due on the promises they’re saying right now.”
Ironically, it was the view that Harris had actually outperformed Pence that compelled some in the group to feel “scared” because she likely improved the odds that Biden would win, which brings us right back to the first point that if Biden wins, Harris could ultimately end up being in charge, which no one wanted.
“I’m fearful of this woman because she knows how to strike chords with the people of America,” participant Matt T. said. “She’s basically utilizing everything that has happened this year to attack the Trump campaign and she does it in such a way that she’s making really strong points, but I don’t think they’re true. So she’s coming across very powerful.”
How widespread is this view?
It remains to be seen if the views expressed by those focus group participants — that Harris may end up as president in a Biden administration, which makes them prefer Trump more — is a common sentiment shared by voters in other parts of the country, particularly other battleground states like Michigan.
For what it’s worth, the RealClearPolitics average of polls currently shows Biden with about a six-point lead over Trump in Michigan, a state that Trump barely won in 2016, but if the thought of a President Harris is as frightening for others as it was for the focus group, that number could certainly change between now and November 3.