Why has Senator Cory Booker failed to catch fire? Why is Senator Kamala Harris, who once seemed a sure thing, lagging. Why is Julian Castro hardly registering?
These poll numbers may shed some light on the question.
Four in 10 Democratic voters said they would be more excited about voting for a woman for president, and 36% said the same of a younger candidate. Only about a quarter were more excited at the idea of supporting a candidate who is black or Latino, while roughly 2 in 10 said they’d be more excited to support an Asian candidate or lesbian, gay or bisexual candidate.
What Democrats want the most is experience in elected office: 73% cited that as a quality they’re looking for in a presidential candidate.
There’s a bunch of different ways of looking at that elephant.
Most Dems picked Biden as the electable candidate and are working backward to rationalize their approach. The same people who didn’t care about Obama’s experience now claim that they want his V.P. because the quality they care most about is experience.
Or youth or gender if they picked Warren or the failed mayor of South Bend.
Another way of looking at it is the Obama Effect.
The Dems had their exciting first black president. At some point they might get around to backing a first Latino president. But for now they’re looking for a new checkbox and a new source of inspiration. Like a woman or a young man.
A third way of looking at it is the Hillary Effect.
Why are a third of Dems interested in a female candidate. Because Hillary was thwarted. And minority candidates have to step back while the “right side of history” gang gets its Hillary do over. Maybe not with an actual Hillary, but Warren is the next best thing.