Inside the Beltway: Kamala Harris’ border visit is politically safe

Vice President Kamala Harris is finally making her way to the troubled border between the U.S. and Mexico and the optics of this long-awaited event are not particularly good. The Republican Party has already given her a new title.

“President Biden’s radical border crisis czar hasn’t even left for the southern border and she’s already receiving backlash from members of her own party,” reported the National Republican Senatorial Committee in an analysis of the situation.

The organization particularly cited Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat — who has requested that Ms. Harris come to his district to see the humanitarian crisis firsthand. Mr. Cuellar cited Ms. Harris’ carefully choreographed journey, which takes her to El Paso rather than the true epicenters of the crisis.

“I am sure her planners told her, if you are going to go to the border, go to something that is safer — that is politically safer,” the lawmaker told Fox News on Thursday, noting that the lower Rio Grande region is a “high activity” area full of families, children and those crossing the border itself.

Visiting such an area in itself is a challenge.

“Politically, it’s harder to do. I know that. It’s part of my district. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. You just can’t go to one place,” Mr. Cuellar said in advice to Ms. Harris.

“But she is just checking the box by going to El Paso,” he said — then confirmed for a second time that Ms. Harris was embarking on a “politically safe” visit.

John Daniel Davidson, political editor of The Federalist, also had a recommendation.

“While the vice president is there, she might want to visit the vast, tent-like detention center for migrant youth at Fort Bliss, which is housing some 2,000 migrant teens in deplorable, nightmarish conditions. If she goes, she’ll be able to see firsthand the grave consequences of the Biden administration’s border policies. That’s why she probably won’t go,” Mr. Davidson wrote in his own analysis.

LOWEST TRUST IN THE WORLD

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the University of Oxford have conducted a massive poll of 92,000 news consumers around the world — “based on data from six continents” and 46 nations — gauging the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the state of the news industry and other issues. The poll was conducted by YouGov and took place “at the end of January/beginning of February 2021” according to the published methodology.

Here is the lead item in a list of the most important findings of the research:

“Trust in the news has grown, on average, by six percentage points in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — with 44% of our total sample saying they trust most news most of the time. This reverses, to some extent, recent falls in average trust – bringing levels back to those of 2018. Finland remains the country with the highest levels of overall trust (65%), and the U.S. now has the lowest levels (29%) in our survey,” the analysis advised.

IVY-COVERED HALLS

Those who fret that young adults are losing their connections with America have good reason to fret.

A very comprehensive poll of college students reveals that 54% say their professors reveal and share their political views during class time. The results? Only 11%, say their classes and other academic activities on campus have given them a “positive” impression of the U.S. as a nation. Only a quarter of them remain optimistic about the future of the nation.

Meanwhile, another 52% said they were proud of the U.S. while 44% say they are not proud of their country.

Last but certainly not least, only 24% have a positive view of capitalism. Their academic life does not appear to help that impression. Only 8% say their college experience has changed their view of capitalism to a more positive outlook. A third of the students, meanwhile, have a positive view of socialism — while 27% say their college experience has reinforced that viewpoint.

The source of these findings is a North Dakota State University survey of 1,000 undergraduate students currently attending 71 U.S. colleges or universities, conducted April 1-30 and released Thursday.

FOXIFIED

Fox News bested its news competition online for the third consecutive month, according to new industry figures. Fox News Digital attracted 85 million ‘unique” visitors to the website during the month of May — and they lingered for 3.4 billion multiplatform minutes, according to Comscore, an industry source. For the 81st consecutive month, Fox News remained the most popular news brand on social media — enjoying 214 million views on YouTube, 24 million Facebook interactions and 21 million hits on Instagram during May, according to Socialbakers, another industry source.

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POLL OF THE DAY

• 70% of U.S. voters agree that more people now working from home is a “good thing”;  63% of Republicans, 65% of independents and 79% of Democrats agree.

• 23% of voters overall say that trend is a “bad thing”; 30% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

• 50% overall say the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live in the U.S. “permanently”; 45% of Republicans, 48% of independents and 56% of Democrats agree.

• 42% overall say the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live “temporarily”; 46% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 39% of Democrats agree,

• 6% overall say it has not really changed the way we live at all; 8% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted June 19-22.

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