Posted on April 3, 2020

Black Voters to the Rescue

Eugene Kane, Wisconsin Examiner, April 1, 2020

When senior campaign advisor Symone Sanders threw herself at a vegan protester who disrupted Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday victory speech, it was a fitting metaphor for the 2020 presidential campaign.

Once again, an African-American saved a Democratic presidential nominee in peril.

It was particularly fitting that it was an African-American woman, part of a group representing the most loyal and in many ways the most practical electoral base for Democrats.


In the beginning, there seemed to be something for everybody — a Barack Obama doppelgänger in Cory Booker, a dynamic female African-Indian American in Kamala Harris, an Hispanic-American with solid political credentials in Julián Castro, an intriguing Asian-American in Andrew Yang and a powerful progressive woman in Elizabeth Warren.

After the South Carolina primary in mid-February, all of these candidates were pretty much wiped out by a Biden march through the South that was as impressive as General Grant defeating Confederate troops during the Civil war.

According to most polls, Biden received two-thirds of the black vote in South Carolina, out-matching all of his supposed rivals.

He beat Bernie Sanders, his closest competitor, by more than 30 points. He was expected to win, but the size of his victory proved that African-American voters were ready to lead the way by narrowing the field.


Bernie Sanders has continued his dogged campaign, but his often cited claim to being the only candidate who could incite the kind of excitement necessary to spark a massive turnout from voters — in particular younger African-American voters — never materialized during this primary election season.


Biden is clearly the choice of older African-American voters who have essentially taken over the Democratic primary process. {snip}

Seeing how black voters resuscitated his campaign, he might consider an African-American woman. But he only made the commitment to pick a woman during one of the last primary debates. He did appear to promise to appoint a black woman to the U.S. Supreme court, which suggests he knows there is a debt due to a vital part of his constituency.

This Democratic primary process has been confusing. Do Democrats need an “electable” or inspirational candidate to defeat Trump? The Party had a hard time finding someone who could check all the boxes.

Someone needed to step up and take charge and it appears black voters were the ones with guts to do it. Black voters made the decision to get things settled once and for all.

Biden, and the Democrats, should thank them.