Post-Obama, Democrat political fortunes in national elections are linked closely to black voter turnout. And so Biden felt he had to pick a black woman.
Or at least the people pulling his strings did.
The problem was the lack of good choices. As the country’s highest ranking elected black female Democrat, Kamala Harris was the inevitable choice despite the fact that her own base was pretty much limited to San Francisco socialites. Black people didn’t back her, they backed Biden. But the alternatives, like Rep. Karen Bass, who had almost as much seniority as baggage, or Stacey Abrams, whose candidacy was held back by the fact that she hadn’t actually won the election she claimed she had, were non-starters.
But either of them would have been better for black voter turnout than Kamala, as Newsweek implicitly notes.
Despite a majority of Americans saying they approved of California Senator Kamala Harris as Biden’s VP pick back in August, a new survey released Monday revealed a far more negative view. Only 36 percent of Black men said that Biden’s selection of a Black woman was a good idea, compared to nearly twice that number of Black men who said nominating a woman generally was a good idea. A majority of Black Americans overall were significantly in support of Harris as the pick, but that backing was driven overwhelmingly by Black women and not Black men.
Black women tend to vote in far higher numbers, so that was the Dem target demo, but the survey once again shows that there’s little enthusiasm.
White women with four-year college degrees were on par with all Black women surveyed in terms of supporting either a woman or Black woman, averaging about 65 percent of support.
In other words, there’s no particular special enthusiasm in the black community for Biden-Harris, the way there was for Obama–Biden.