A Friday report from Associated Press claims that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has narrowed down his possible running mates to as few as six contenders. The finalists allegedly include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Susan Rice, who served as former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. According to the report, Biden’s campaign has also taken a close look at Florida Rep. Val Demings, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham — almost all women of color.
Biden previously said he would pick a woman as his running mate and continues to face pressure to choose a woman of color. Such calls come amid Biden’s primary comeback — driven mainly by black voters — and protests over the death of African American George Floyd while in police custody.
Per Associated Press, Amy Klobuchar, who was previously a top contender for Biden’s running mate, appears to have fallen lower on his list. In the wake of Floyd’s death, the Minnesota senator has faced criticism for her prosecutorial record in the county, where she oversaw a period in which over two dozen people died during encounters with police — most of them minorities.
“While the people with knowledge of Biden’s vetting process did not rule Klobuchar out, she is widely viewed among Democrats with close ties to the Biden campaign as less likely to be tapped given recent events,” the report reads.
According to a poll from Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD), African American men and women claim they would be more enthusiastic about voting for Biden if his running mate is African American.
“We expected to find this to be the case among African-American women — the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting bloc — but we also found that this trend holds for African-American men as well,” said Alvin Tillery, director of the CSDD.
In terms of running mates, 29 percent of respondents preferred Harris, 28 percent preferred former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, 24 percent selected Rice, and 20 percent favored Demings.
Tillery said that while small, the margins gained from an African American woman are “precisely the kinds” that could make or break Biden’s chances in November.
Nadia Brown, a professor at Purdue University and Tillery’s collaborator, claimed that African American women are effective at mobilizing people to Democratic candidates.
“As such, it is imperative that the Biden campaign listen to his most enthusiastic base as he makes his choice for the vice presidential nominee.”