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Taylor Swift kicks off UK Eras shows as some fans wonder if singer is ready to say 'So long, London'

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Taylor Swift kicks off UK Eras shows as some fans wonder if singer is ready to say 'So long, London'
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Taylor Swift kicks off UK Eras shows as some fans wonder if singer is ready to say 'So long, London'

2024-06-23 01:41 Last Updated At:01:51

LONDON (AP) — Taylor Swift fans enjoy parsing the singer-songwriter’s lyrics for references to her romantic life and insights into her state of mind.

But the pop superstar’s fans in the U.K. didn’t have to listen closely to her latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” to get the sense that Swift had soured on the country’s capital city after long making it a regular hangout and then her second home. The record’s fifth track is titled “So Long, London.”

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Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets infront of the "Swiftie Steps", commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

LONDON (AP) — Taylor Swift fans enjoy parsing the singer-songwriter’s lyrics for references to her romantic life and insights into her state of mind.

Taylor Swift fans pose for a picture outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a picture outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

A fan wearing sunglasses waits outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan wearing sunglasses waits outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo by a staircase with the image of Taylor Swift, outside Wembley Stadium ahead of her first London concert, during the Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo by a staircase with the image of Taylor Swift, outside Wembley Stadium ahead of her first London concert, during the Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for photographs outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for photographs outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

A fan poses for a photo outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs as part of the "Eras Tour" at the Tokyo Dome, on Feb. 7, 2024, in Tokyo. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs as part of the "Eras Tour" at the Tokyo Dome, on Feb. 7, 2024, in Tokyo. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, File)

As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium this weekend, some Swifties therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye.

London isn't ready to see her go. The area around Wembley was transformed for the shows, with fans posing in front of a giant mural of the singer and traveling stairs christened “Swiftie Steps” and other tributes.

Swift announced that 88,446 people were in attendance at Friday's show in what she called "the most exhilarating city in the world.” Among the famous attendees: Prince William celebrating his 42nd birthday at the show and posing for a photo with Swift along with two of his children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Swift gave fans a wink and a nod toward her London life during one of her two solo acoustic surprise songs: a piano medley that opened with the London-set “The Black Dog" and segued into “Come Back, Be Here” and then “Maroon.”

In addition to this weekend's shows, Swift will return to Wembley for five more in August to close the tour’s European leg.

London is the only city on the tour where Swift is stopping twice. Some worry the arrangement may represent a swan song of sorts, while others think it just reflects a new era in Swift's bond with the Big Smoke. Whether “So Long, London” turns out to be a final chapter or a bookend to her valentine to the city, the song “London Boy,” Eras is arriving as an emotional milestone.

“Her relationship now kind of assumes London won't be somewhere she will be. It's not like there is an American football player living here,” said Maggie Fekete, 22, a Canadian graduate student who credits the London references in Swift's music with orienting her when she moved to the city three years ago. “I think there will be a lot less London in her music, which is sad.”

Stella Elgood, 25, of London, said Friday she assumed Swift would sing “So Long, London” at some point during her eight nights in the city but that Swift “will always be welcome.”

“Especially since she dated Harry Styles, she’s been here in the Zeitgeist,” Elgood said.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Swift had a series of romances with famous British citizens (including Styles in 2012) that ended last year, when she started dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. The speculation surrounding “So Long, London” and a mournful companion song that mentions a London pub, “The Black Dog,” stems from the 2023 breakup of Swift and English actor Joe Alwyn, who were together for over six years.

Alwyn is assumed to have inspired “London Boy,” a song from her 2019 album “Lover.” A special-edition “Lover” CD included what appeared to be a January 2017 diary entry in which Swift talked about being “essentially based in London” but trying to lay low. British tabloids later reported that Swift spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic sheltering with Alwyn in north London.

The Sun newspaper reported in December that the multiple Grammy-winner had bought a large property in the area and was remodeling it to be her base in Europe. After Swift released “The Tortured Poets Department” last month, however, a writer for the British edition of ELLE magazine observed that Londoners had an opening “for an all-American A-lister who can slot into her place in our collective consciousness."

“We had Swift before we lost her to her record-breaking, box office-breaking Eras Tour and now, it would appear that her vacant position has been filled by Zendaya,” writer Naomi May playfully posited before listing the various locations the American actor had been spotted with her longtime boyfriend, British actor Tom Holland.

Either way, the capital is putting on quite a show of its own to make sure Swift and her fans feel appreciated. Guides are offering walking, bus and taxi tours that retrace her footsteps, including a kebab shop whose owner says his establishment is supplying sandwiches for the singer and her crew on Friday.

Before the end of August, Swifties can partake in a full diet of Swift-themed brunches and dance parties, or ride the London Eye Ferris wheel accompanied by a string quartet playing her music. Souvenir stalls in Camden Market, one of the places mentioned in “London Boy,” stocked up on Swift-specific caps, T-shirts, bags and stickers in preparation.

Amy Unsworth, 34, who is from a small town near Manchester, England, and was born a month before Swift, said Friday that the singer’s ties to the U.K. and vice versa extend beyond the capital.

“I feel like as a Northerner I have an affinity with her,” Unsworth said, noting that Swift wrote many of the songs on her “Evermore” album while in England’s Lake District with Alwyn.

“It’s hard to know how she feels right now, being back, given her history.”

Unsworth isn’t worried Swift will turn her back on the U.K. Swift said from the stage that her British fans “have been some of the most supportive people in my corner since I started making music.” Swift performed in London for the first time at age 17, when she appeared at the student union of Kings College London.

“I think she will come back” after Eras, Unsworth said. “She has too many dedicated fans not to come back. She’s built up too much momentum here to just forget about us.”

Zachary Hourihane, who co-hosts a Swift podcast called “Evolution of a Snake" and posts YouTube and TikTok videos under the name Swiftologist, said Thursday that it's too soon to know whether the singer will retain her honorary citizenship or part ways with London. As her fans know all too well, only time will tell with Taylor.

“Taylor is someone who retraces her steps a lot. Things are never really over with her. She likes to revisit things that have finished,” he said. “Let's be realistic about it. Her relationship, even if it is, ‘so long, goodbye,’ she has good reason to be in London and good money to make there.”

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets infront of the "Swiftie Steps", commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets infront of the "Swiftie Steps", commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a picture outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a picture outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

A fan wearing sunglasses waits outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan wearing sunglasses waits outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo by a staircase with the image of Taylor Swift, outside Wembley Stadium ahead of her first London concert, during the Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo by a staircase with the image of Taylor Swift, outside Wembley Stadium ahead of her first London concert, during the Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for photographs outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for photographs outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose with their bracelets outside Wembley Stadium before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift fans pose for a photograph besides a mural, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, before the first London concert of the Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

A fan poses for a photo outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

A fan poses for a photo outside Wembley Stadium ahead of Taylor Swift's first London concert, during her Eras Tour, in London, Friday June 21, 2024. (Lucy North/PA via AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift performs at Wembley Stadium as part of her Eras Tour on Friday, June 21, 2024 in London. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs as part of the "Eras Tour" at the Tokyo Dome, on Feb. 7, 2024, in Tokyo. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, File)

FILE - Taylor Swift performs as part of the "Eras Tour" at the Tokyo Dome, on Feb. 7, 2024, in Tokyo. As Swift brings her blockbuster Eras Tour to London’s Wembley Stadium, some fans therefore are wondering if they are witnessing the beginning of an extended goodbye. She is performing three nights starting Friday, June 21, 2024 and is scheduled to return to Wembley for six nights in August to close the tour’s European leg. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — She's already broken barriers, and now Kamala Harris could shatter several more after President Joe Biden abruptly ended his reelection bid and endorsed her.

Biden announced Sunday that he was stepping aside after a disastrous debate performance catalyzed fears that the 81-year-old was too frail for a second term.

Harris is the first woman, Black person and person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president. If she becomes the Democratic nominee and defeats Republican candidate Donald Trump in November, she would be the first woman to serve as president.

Biden said Sunday that choosing Harris as his running mate was “the best decision I've made" and endorsed her as his successor.

“Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump,” he wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Let’s do this.”

Harris described Biden's decision to step aside as a “selfless and patriotic act,” saying he was “putting the American people and our country above everything else.”

“I am honored to have the President’s endorsement and my intention is to earn and win this nomination," Harris said. “Over the past year, I have traveled across the country, talking with Americans about the clear choice in this momentous election.”

Prominent Democrats followed Biden's lead by swiftly coalescing around Harris on Sunday. However, her nomination is not a foregone conclusion, and there have been suggestions that the party should hold a lightning-fast “mini primary” to consider other candidates before its convention in Chicago next month.

A recent poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Democrats believe Harris would do a good job in the top slot. About 2 in 10 Democrats don’t believe she would, and another 2 in 10 say they don’t know enough to say.

The poll showed that about 4 in 10 U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of Harris, whose name is pronounced “COMM-a-la,” while about half have an unfavorable opinion.

A former prosecutor and U.S. senator from California, Harris' own bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination imploded before a single primary vote was cast. She later became Biden's running mate, but she struggled to find her footing after taking office as vice president. Assigned to work on issues involving migration from Central America, she was repeatedly blamed by Republicans for problems with illegal border crossings.

However, Harris found more prominence as the White House's most outspoken advocate for abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. She has also played a key role in reaching out to young people and voters of color.

In addition, Harris' steady performance after Biden's debate debacle solidified her standing among Democrats in recent weeks.

Even before Biden's endorsement, Harris was widely viewed as the favorite to replace him on the ticket. With her foreign policy experience and national name recognition, she has a head start over potential challengers, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Harris will seek to avoid the fate of Hubert Humphrey, who as vice president won the Democratic nomination in 1968 after President Lyndon Johnson declined to run for reelection amid national dissatisfaction over the Vietnam War. Humphrey lost that year to Republican Richard Nixon.

Nixon resigned in 1974 during the Watergate scandal and was replaced by Vice President Gerald Ford. Ford never won a term of his own.

Vice presidents are always in line to step into the top job if the president dies or is incapacitated. However, Harris has faced an unusual level of scrutiny because of Biden’s age. He was the oldest president in history, taking office at 78 and announcing his reelection bid at 80. Harris is 59.

She addressed the question of succession in an interview with The Associated Press during a trip to Jakarta in September 2023.

“Joe Biden is going to be fine, so that is not going to come to fruition,” she stated. “But let us also understand that every vice president — every vice president — understands that when they take the oath they must be very clear about the responsibility they may have to take over the job of being president.”

“I’m no different.”

Harris was born Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, to parents who met as civil rights activists. Her hometown and nearby Berkeley were at the heart of the racial and social justice movements of the time, and Harris was both a product and a beneficiary.

She spoke often about attending demonstrations in a stroller and growing up around adults “who spent full time marching and shouting about this thing called justice.” In first grade, she was bused to school as part of the second class to integrate Berkeley public education.

Harris’ parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother alongside her younger sister, Maya. She attended Howard University, a historically Black school in Washington, and joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which became a source of sisterhood and political support over the years.

After graduating, Harris returned to the San Francisco Bay Area for law school and chose a career as a prosecutor, a move that surprised her activist family.

She said she believed that working for change inside the system was just as important as agitating from outside. By 2003, she was running for her first political office, taking on the longtime San Francisco district attorney.

Few city residents knew her name, and Harris set up an ironing board as a table outside grocery stores to meet people. She won and quickly showed a willingness to chart her own path. Months into her tenure, Harris declined to seek the death penalty for the killer of a young police officer slain in the line of duty, fraying her relationship with city cops.

The episode did not stop her political ascent. In late 2007, while still serving as district attorney, she was knocking on doors in Iowa for then-candidate Barack Obama. After he became president, Obama endorsed her in her 2010 race for California attorney general.

Once elected to statewide office, she pledged to uphold the death penalty despite her moral opposition to it. She refused to defend Proposition 8, a voter-backed initiative banning same-sex marriage. Harris also played a key role in a $25 billion settlement with the nation’s mortgage lenders following the foreclosure crisis.

As killings of young Black men by police received more attention, Harris implemented some changes, including tracking racial data in police stops, but didn’t pursue more aggressive measures such as requiring independent prosecutors to investigate police shootings.

Harris’ record as a prosecutor would eventually dog her when she launched a presidential bid in 2019, as some progressives and younger voters demanded swifter change. But during her time on the job, she also forged a fortuitous relationship with Beau Biden, Joe Biden’s son who was then Delaware’s attorney general. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, and his friendship with Harris figured heavily years later as his father chose Harris to be his running mate.

Harris married entertainment lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014, and she became stepmother to Emhoff’s two children, Ella and Cole, who referred to her as “Momala.”

Harris had a rare opportunity to advance politically when Sen. Barbara Boxer, who had served more than two decades, announced she would not run again in 2016.

In office, Harris quickly became part of the Democratic resistance to Trump and gained recognition for her pointed questioning of his nominees. In one memorable moment, she pressed now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on whether he knew any laws that gave government the power to regulate a man’s body. He did not, and the line of questioning galvanized women and abortion rights activists.

A little more than two years after becoming a senator, Harris announced her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. But her campaign was marred by infighting and she failed to gain traction, ultimately dropping out before the Iowa caucuses.

Eight months later, Biden selected Harris as his running mate. As he introduced her to the nation, Biden reflected on what her nomination meant for “little Black and brown girls who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities.”

“Today, just maybe, they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way, as the stuff of presidents and vice presidents,” he said.

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this story.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., pass each other as Harris moves to the podium to speak during a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 12, 2020. She’s already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., pass each other as Harris moves to the podium to speak during a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 12, 2020. She’s already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

FILE - President Joe Biden walks with Vice President Kamala Harris after speaking on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 13, 2021, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FILE - President Joe Biden walks with Vice President Kamala Harris after speaking on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 13, 2021, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event in Manassas, Va., Jan. 23, 2024. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event in Manassas, Va., Jan. 23, 2024. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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