A new poll indicates that a plurality of American voters have a positive opinion of Sen. Kamala Harris, who made history on Tuesday as the first Black woman to serve as a major political party’s vice-presidential pick.

A Georgetown University/Battleground national poll released on Monday – one day before presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden named the senator from California and former state attorney general as his running mate – showed that 43% of likely voters nationwide had a favorable view of Harris, with 36% holding an unfavorable view. Eight percent said they had no opinion and 13% answered that they’ve never heard of the senator.


Harris’ favorable rating was up in Georgetown University polling from last October, when she stood at 35% favorable and 43% unfavorable. At the time, 7% had no opinion and 16% hadn’t heard of the senator. The earlier poll was conducted as Harris’ Democratic presidential campaign was running short on cash and her numbers in the nomination horse race were in decline. The senator suspended her White House bid two months later, in December.

According to the new poll – which was conducted Aug. 1-6 – Harris has a 76% favorable rating among Democrats. But she’s slightly underwater among independent voters at 37%-40% -- and she has a 10%-65% favorable/unfavorable rating among Republican voters.

Harris had a 64%-15% favorable rating among Black voters, 41%-39% among White voters, and 39%-32% among Hispanic and Latino voters.


“I think she energizes a base that’s already pretty energized,” Mo Elleithee, the founding executive director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service and a Fox News contributor, said.

“Her numbers are incredibly high with African American voters, with people who don’t like President Trump, with a lot of the key constituencies of the Democratic base,” added Elleithee, a senior spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who later served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

The Georgetown University Battleground poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group, with live telephone operators interviewing 1,000 likely voters. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.