Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Home News Black Voters Didn’t Need a Black Presidential Candidate. They Won’t Need a...

Black Voters Didn’t Need a Black Presidential Candidate. They Won’t Need a Black VP Either.

Black Voters Didn’t Need a Black Presidential Candidate. They Won’t Need a Black VP Either.

Ad will collapse in

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A new Washington Post–Ipsos poll contains some of the most comprehensive insight yet into the preferences of black prospective 2020 voters. Published on Saturday, the results of the all-online survey — which, despite methodological concerns about internet polling, largely echo the crosstabs found at Morning Consult and other well-regarded pollsters — provide lots of information that we already knew: Joe Biden remains the front-runner by a long shot, at 48 percent; Bernie Sanders comes in at a fairly distant second, at 20 percent, but leads among black adults ages 18 to 35 by a margin of 42–30. Pragmatism remains an overwhelming determiner, with nearly 60 percent of respondents saying that it’s most important to nominate the Democratic candidate with the best chance of defeating President Trump, and just one-third preferring the candidate who best aligns with them on the issues. Among those who lean Democrat, Biden is considered the most likely to oust the Republican incumbent (53 percent), handle the issues most important to black Americans (32 percent), and to unite the country (43 percent).

But one of the more notable findings is how little the conventional wisdom — that black people would be most drawn to a black candidate, or, if not, at least require that a white nominee choose a black running mate — seems to reflect reality. According to the survey, 72 percent of respondents feel that it’s either “not so important” (35 percent) or “not important at all” (38 percent) for an eventual white nominee to choose a black vice president to diversify their ticket. This news seems unlikely to prompt either Biden or Sanders, both white men over 75, to change course from what their plans already appeared to be: Rumors circulated last year that Biden was considering naming a VP pick before even winning the primary, and Sanders said in a recent interview with the New York Times editorial board that he definitely wouldn’t choose an “old white guy” for his; former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is black, is widely considered a front-runner for both. But these findings do suggest that the clannishness of black-voter behavior is overstated. Today, as in past elections, whatever intraracial affinity black voters feel toward black candidates is easily discarded when those candidates fail to convince them that a racist, majority-white general electorate will support them and prevent a Republican from winning.

It’s easy to forget that the excitement generated by the candidacies of Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson before him, and the consequent successes of both, hinged on unique circumstances. Jackson’s campaigns in 1984 and 1988 were buoyed by massive voter-registration drives that, in some cases, doubled or even tripled the black electorate in multiple states. This generated an outpouring of black-voter energy driven not by the mere fact of a charismatic black candidate, but a candidate who’d made huge investments in expanding black political power at a time when Republicans were making inroads decimating it. Two decades after Jackson failed to secure the Democratic nomination for the second election in a row, even Obama — a man of enduring popularity among black Americans who’d go on to almost match Jackson’s showing among black primary voters — had to convince black Democrats he could win over white people in Iowa and New Hampshire before they defected from the candidate most had initially supported, Hillary Clinton.

Neither man’s approach is prescriptive or easily replicable, but when paired with the failures of the likes of Carol Moseley Braun, Al Sharpton, and more recent black presidential candidates — like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris — they suggest most definitively that black candidates can’t expect the benefit of the doubt, even from their presumed constituencies. This is as true in the post-Obama era, when the reality of a black ex-president is undeniable, as it was beforehand, and sometimes ruthlessly so: News that Booker dropped out of the 2020 race on Monday has left the Democratic primary with just two remaining candidates of color, Andrew Yang and Deval Patrick. Yang, a Taiwanese-American businessman, has an enthusiastic base sustaining his upstart run, but one would be forgiven for forgetting that Patrick, the black former Massachusetts governor, is running at all. Harris’s once-promising campaign floundered, and Booker and Julián Castro, the Mexican-American former HUD secretary, failed to generate much interest for theirs. All have collectively upended the notion that the person best equipped to rebuild the so-called “Obama coalition” — the mix of Northern whites, young people, and energized black and Latino voters that eventually propelled the ex-president to the White House in 2008 — would inevitably be he or she who, at least superficially, most closely resembled Obama himself.

But the Post–Ipsos poll’s findings are even more suggestive. Not only were black Americans not sold on this cycle’s black candidates, most aren’t particularly moved by the prospect of white front-runners using a black VP pick as an olive branch. At the most recent primary debate, candidates were given the opportunity to lament the absence of nonwhite prospects who qualified to be onstage, and with fair reason: The centrality of voters of color to the Democratic coalition has prompted even Sanders — whose aversion to so-called “identity politics,” the practice of singling out certain demographic groups and appealing to them through their unique experiences, is well documented — to address his shortcomings among black voters in 2016 by amassing black surrogates and promising not to choose a 2020 running mate who looked too much like him. Yet as I’ve written before, black voters are under no illusions about the electorate to which they’re submitting a candidate. Many would no doubt appreciate a black president or vice president. Few are willing to risk four more years of Trump to make it so. As a result, today’s white Democratic primary competitors are under minimal pressure to realize a ticket that reflects the diversity of the American people. It’s an indictment of widespread racism that this is true. But it also vivifies what so many black voters have been telling white Americans for decades, with varying degrees of success: You don’t owe us carrots. Government that looks out for our interests will do.

Black Voters Didn’t Need a Black Candidate

Promoted links by Taboola


The College Football Championship Was All About the Crowd — and Trump

By Will Leitch

In 2020, everything eventually turns into a political rally.

Want to work for Bloomberg? He’s hiring

Bloomberg campaign continues to add more staffers. It’s now crossed 1,000 people, per campaign.


democratic debates

democratic debates

A Warren-Sanders Face-off? And 6 More Things to Watch for in Tonight’s Debate

By Matt Stieb

In the last contest before the Iowa caucuses, expect more foreign-policy talk, and a lot more conflict between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

vision 2020

What Will Happen If There’s a Tie in the Electoral College?

By Ed Kilgore

The House with each delegation casting one vote would elect the President, with Republicans likely to hold the advantage.

Trump is making someone pay for his wall, and it isn’t Mexico

President Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall construction this year, five times what Congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget, according to internal planning figures obtained by The Washington Post.

The Pentagon funds would be extracted, for the second year in a row, from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding. According to the plans, the funding would give the government enough money to complete about 885 miles of new fencing by spring 2022, far more than the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump took $2.5 billion from military counterdrug programs for border barrier construction in 2019, but this year his administration is planning to take significantly more — $3.5 billion. Trump administration officials also are planning to take $3.7 billion in military construction funding, slightly more than the $3.6 billion diverted in 2019.

The move would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump, who made the border barrier a priority during his campaign for the presidency in 2016.

vision 2020

Black Voters Didn’t Need A Black Candidate. They Won’t Need a Black VP Either.

By Zak Cheney-Rice

Cory Booker’s exit from the presidential race teaches lessons about what black voters want.

vision 2020

Warren Says Sanders ‘Disagreed’ With Her That a Woman Could Win in 2020

By Matt Stieb

After Sanders denied a report that he privately told Warren a female candidate couldn’t beat Trump, Warren said that the exchange happened.

vision 2020

DI Politics Chat: The Sanders/Warren He-Said-She-Said Showdown Over Sexism

By Gabriel Debenedetti and Ezekiel Kweku

Did the allegations of sexism by Sanders come from Warren’s camp? What will the fallout be? Two Intelligencer staffers discuss.

vision 2020

Iraq Still Matters

By Sarah Jones

Biden’s foreign-policy record should haunt him.

Iowa should be fun in late January and early February

NEW: President Trump will hold a rally in Des Moines the Thursday* before the Iowa caucus



It’s Time for Pelosi and McConnell to Make Some Big Impeachment Trial Decisions

By Ed Kilgore

The impeachment trial schedule should be set by week’s end, and the initial skirmishing in the Senate over rules will soon begin.

There’s little appetite for war with Iran, except among Republican voters

Would you support or oppose the United States going to war against Iran?


Support 26%

Oppose 64%


Support 55%

Oppose 31%


Support 7%

Oppose 91%


Support 18%

Oppose 73%

(Quinnipiac U. Poll, RV, 1/8-12/20)

More: https://t.co/VbUfVisnkF


vision 2020

The Sexist Myth Behind the Sanders-Warren Spat

By Ed Kilgore

Many Democrats fear, despite a lack of evidence, that a woman can’t win the presidency. They need to reject this misogynist Trumpian assumption.

This spat between Sanders and Warren will be a major storyline going into tomorrow’s debate

Elizabeth Warren recalled an explosive account of a meeting with Bernie Sanders in which he said he didn’t believe a woman could win in 2020, according to three people who heard the story directly from her in the weeks following their private meeting.

The fact that the candidate was herself the source of the story renders Sanders’ first response — to blame it on “lying” staffers — inoperative, and ensures that the two senators will be forced to discuss the details of the disputed December 2018 meeting at Tuesday night’s debate here in Iowa.

The Warren campaign declined to comment on her recollection of the meeting.

Sanders has denied the story, first reported by CNN, as a total fabrication by “staff who weren’t in the room [who] are lying about what happened,” he said in a lengthy statement issued Monday. The people who heard Warren talk about the meeting at the time in early 2019 said on Monday that their recollection of her telling matched CNN’s reporting on Monday.

puerto rico

Puerto Rico Is Recovering, But the Earthquakes Keep Coming

By Adam K. Raymond

More than 1,400 earthquakes have hit the island in the past few weeks, leaving thousands homeless.

Harvard and McKinsey are in this boy’s future

Photo: @JoshuaGreen/Twitter

The price of dissent in Iran right now


Breaking: Iran’s most prominent female director Rakhshan Bani Etemad has been arrested. She had called for a nationwide rally to hold vigil for the victims of downed plane.


the top line

Trump Admits China Isn’t a Currency Manipulator

By Josh Barro

The essentially symbolic nature of this action fits with the essentially symbolic nature of the Phase One trade deal as a whole.

An old-school Republican slander

Wow. Asked why Trump retweeted a photoshopped image of Schumer & Pelosi wearing a turban & head scarf w/ Iranian flag, Stephanie Grisham attempts to explain by saying he was “making clear” Democrats are “parroting Iranian talking points & almost taking the side of terrorists.”


vision 2020

Why Cory Booker’s Presidential Campaign Never Took Off

By Ed Kilgore

Senator Booker had a good start, excellent debate performances, and an upbeat personality and message — so why didn’t voters respond?

A terrific result for Biden, who appears to be gaining momentum in Iowa

New Monmouth University poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers puts Biden in the top spot. But it’s really a four-way race, since these numbers are all within the margin of error:

Biden – 24%

Sanders – 18%

Buttigieg – 17%

Warren – 15%


the national interest

the national interest

Trump Takes Credit For Obamacare, Says Democrats Want to Repeal It

By Jonathan Chait

Possibly Trump’s most brazen lie yet.

foreign policy

Trump Claim That Soleimani Posed an ‘Imminent Threat’ Takes Another Hit

By Adam K. Raymond

Trump set the red line last June, NBC News reports, authorizing a strike against Soleimani if an American was killed by Iran.

The paeans to Booker from candidates still in the race are pouring in

Cory, you campaigned with joy and heart, and instead of just talking about bringing people together, you did it every day. You made our politics better just by running. Grateful to you and looking forward to your continued leadership.


Mr. Magnanimity strikes again

Really Big Breaking News (Kidding): Booker, who was in zero polling territory, just dropped out of the Democrat Presidential Primary Race. Now I can rest easy tonight. I was sooo concerned that I would someday have to go head to head with him!


And then there were 12

BREAKING: Cory Booker is ending his bid for president today. Tune in to @CNN for more


the top line

Casper Will Go Public, Offering the Latest New and Exciting Way to Lose Money

By Josh Barro

Don’t call Casper a mattress company. Casper, which filed paperwork to go public on Friday, says it is “a pioneer of the Sleep Economy.”

This seems just slightly off

Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising. I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate…..


Biden picks up more support from black members of Congress

Freshman Rep. Colin Allred endorsed Joe Biden on Monday, giving the former vice president his tenth endorsement from a black member of Congress and his fifth from Texas’ congressional delegation.

“I do think he has the best chance to win in November. I also think he’s the right person for the time,” Allred, a Democrat, told POLITICO in a phone interview. “I don’t think there’s anyone better than Joe Biden, who has been through so much in his personal life, who has such a long record of service, of trying to bring people together, to take over at this time. This is not a normal time in American politics. We need someone like Joe Biden right now.”

Allred, who represents a swing district including parts of Dallas and its suburbs, is the second Texas congressman to back Biden after initially supporting Julián Castro. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary dropped out of the race earlier this month and endorsed Elizabeth Warren.

Read More

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!