Poll: 7 out of 10 Democrats Want Biden to Pick Woman of Color for VP

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 12: Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speak after the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls were chosen from the larger field of …
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A new poll indicates that more than seven out of ten Democrat voters want former Vice President Joe Biden to pick a woman of color as his running mate.

The poll, which was conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University by surveying 1,000 individuals nationwide, indicates that 72 percent of Democrats believe it is very or somewhat important for Biden to place a woman of color on the ticket.

Support for a woman of color as the Democrat vice-presidential nominee was shared broadly among all of the poll’s respondents. The idea was particularly popular with both male (65 percent) and female (76 percent) Democrats. It was also heavily favored by white (75 percent), black (60 percent), and Hispanic (81 percent) voters, overall.

The poll was conducted between June 25 through June 29 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Its findings come as the former vice president’s campaign is weighing its options for the number two spot on the Democrat ticket.

Biden, who has promised to make history by picking a woman as his running mate, initially floated the idea that an announcement would be made on August 1. This week, though, Biden told reporters that his campaign would not follow that schedule, but would instead unveil its choice by early August, “several weeks before the convention.”

Even though the reason for the delay is unclear, it is speculated to be a result of the complications that Biden’s team has encountered in the search process. Most notably, the campaign is struggling to figure out how to properly balance the ticket, while boosting turnout among black voters—a key Democrat consistency.

Most political operatives believe that if black turnout was at the same level in 2016 that it was in 2012, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency, despite President Donald Trump’s appeal to blue-collar voters. Given such thinking, and surveys showing Biden underperforming among black voters, many Democrats are pushing him to pick a woman of color to stabilize his standing.

Biden, himself, seems to agree. The former vice president, however, is having difficulty finding a candidate acceptable to not only moderate and progressive Democrats, but racial justice activists as well.

Two of the women at the top of Biden’s shortlist, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL),  have come under fire in recent weeks over their law enforcement records as the nationwide protests have erupted over George Floyd’s death in police custody. Demings, in particular, has earned the ire of some Black Lives Matter activists for her prior career as the police chief of Orlando, Florida.

Both women are also seen by former supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as being too pro-business. Their inclusion at the top of Biden’s shortlist has led Nina Turner, a former national co-chair of the Sanders campaign, to quip that the presumptive nominee is signaling progressives “need not apply” to be his running mate.


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