Posted on May 12, 2020

Kamala Harris Leads the List of Biden Running Mates

Brad Bannon, The Hill, May 11, 2020

{snip} A successful political campaign has many building blocks. Joe Biden’s quest for the Democratic presidential nomination is no exception. There are many reasons for his win. But one factor that stands out in his claim on the Democratic nod was his success with African American voters.

{snip} Biden won a resounding victory in the Palmetto State with a strong assist from black voters there. In South Carolina, most of the primary voters were African American (56 percent) and they voted in large numbers for Biden over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (61 percent to 17 percent).

After his big victory in South Carolina, Biden capitalized on his support with black Democratic voters with a strong showing on Super Tuesday. The former vice president’s win in Texas is a good example. Biden and Sanders received just about the same level of support from white voters (Biden 30 percent-Sanders 29 percent). But Barack Obama’s two-time running mate won the overwhelming support of African Americans primary voters in the Lone Star State (Biden 58 percent-Sanders 15 percent).


Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is the favored vice presidential candidate of the most Democratic primary voters in a recent national poll conducted by CBS News.

But black voters made Joe Biden. Will the presumptive Democratic nominee make good his debt to them with an African American running mate?

If Biden does decide to run with an African American, he has plenty of qualified women to choose from. For example, Chris Cillizza’s most recent ranking of the 10 most likely Biden running mates included five African American women. They were California Senator Kamala Harris (number 1), former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice (number 5), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (number 6), Florida Representative Val Demings (number 8) and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams (number 9).


{snip} Biden may feel he owes a debt to African American voters for helping him become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. That obligation coincides with a strategic imperative for the Democratic nominee to run with an African American woman. An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center indicated that there was a sharp drop from 66.6 percent to 59.6 in black turnout between Barack Obama’s last campaign in 2012 and Hillary Clinton’s race in 2016.

African American participation is key to reclaiming the industrial Midwestern states that are important to victory in the Electoral College. Relatively low African American turnout in Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia contributed to Hillary Clinton’s narrow defeats in the key battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.