A Black Running Mate Won’t Save Biden - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Black Running Mate Won’t Save Biden
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (YouTube screenshot)

Public opinion polls appear to portend a Biden victory in November, but the former vice president will almost certainly succumb to the same affliction that brought about Hillary Clinton’s electoral demise — anemic enthusiasm among minorities. No Democrat can win without the robust backing of this bloc of voters, and Biden’s dubious record on racially sensitive issues, combined with more recent blunders, has rendered this support noticeably tepid. He also lacks the support of influential black leaders like civil rights lawyer Leo Terrell, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to write, “If the presidential election was held today, I would vote for #DonaldTrump.”

Moreover, the polls consistently show Biden’s support among black voters hovering well below Hillary Clinton’s anemic 2016 figures. The latest Quinnipiac poll, for example, indicates that only 82 percent of African-Americans support Biden — six points below the 88 percent Clinton garnered during her failed campaign. Nor has Biden’s clumsy pandering moved the needle among these voters. In addition to his prior pledge to consider women of color in his search for a running mate, he has now promised to release a list of black women from which he will choose Supreme Court nominees. The target demographic is underwhelmed by these gestures, as the Washington Examiner recently reported:

Despite calls for Joe Biden to pick a woman of color as his running mate, most of the American public doesn’t agree or are unsure, and only 51% of black people said the Democrat should select an African American, according to a new 2020 survey.… Even among partisans, only 50% of “liberals” said yes to picking a black vice presidential nominee.

According to a recent Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape study, Joe Biden’s hopelessly transparent pandering is backfiring among African-Americans between 18 and 44 years old. Carrie Sheffield writes in Just the News, “UCLA data … show younger black Americans have been holding more favorable views of President Trump than their parents and grandparents.” In addition to this somewhat surprising revelation, the nationwide study — which involved more than 500,000 interviews conducted in nearly every county and congressional district in the nation — confirms that our erstwhile vice president is in a “weaker position with younger black voters than Hillary Clinton was in 2016.”

Biden’s relative weakness among young black voters compared to the last two Democratic presidential candidates is at least partially related to his general lack of visibility. It’s difficult to win any political campaign if you refuse to leave your basement. Candace Owens, who has been an outspoken advocate of forcing Democrats to earn black votes, bluntly declares, “Never in the history of American politics has there ever been a presidential candidate as spineless as @JoeBiden. His strategy is to hide until November and blame coronavirus.” It is going to be pretty difficult to convince anyone that he’s working hard for their votes without emerging from his bunker. As Victor Davis Hanson puts it:

Biden is only postponing the inevitable. He is compressing the campaign into an ever-shorter late-summer and autumn cycle. If he really agrees to three debates … he may end up reminding the American people in the eleventh hour of the campaign that they have a choice between a controversial president and a presidential candidate who simply cannot fulfill the office of the presidency.

The lack of visibility is certainly hurting Biden with Hispanics. In 2016, Clinton won 66 percent of the Hispanic vote and Trump won 29 percent. Recent polls show Biden far less competitive. The most recent Marist Poll, for example, asks registered voters whom they would support if November’s election for president were held today. Among Hispanics, Biden garnered only 59 percent while Trump won 39 percent. Biden can’t beat Trump with Hispanic support in the 50s and African-American support in the low 80s. Too many swing states ride on their votes. Is it really possible for any running mate to save him? Many Democrats fantasize about New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s chances:

According to a Latino Decisions poll, 72 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to turn out in November if Biden chooses a Latina as his running mate, and 67 percent said this would inspire them to support Biden. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is said to be in final contention for the vice presidential slot and arguably would make a substantive impact on the Hispanic vote come November.

Hispanic voters will be the largest ethnic minority in the electorate in 2020. They, combined with black Americans, may very well decide who will live in the White House in 2021. But it would be a major mistake for Biden to assume that these voter blocs agree with one another concerning Gov. Lujan Grisham’s open borders position or her reversion to ineffective COVID-19 edicts involving mask mandates and the refusal to reopen public schools. Black voters have jobs, pay taxes, and are not particularly fond of gubernatorial decrees that prevent their children from attending school. And they may see the choice of Gov. Lujan Grisham as a signal that their votes have again been taken for granted.

A similar dilemma faces Biden if he attempts to bolster his poll numbers among black voters by choosing someone like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Hispanic voters will see this as a return to the bad old days of the Obama administration. As AP phrases it, “For many Latinos, Biden’s embrace of the Obama years is a frightening reminder of when the former president ejected about 3 million people living in the U.S. illegally.” The obvious answer to all of this is for Biden to abandon his race-based VP search, but he is justifiably afraid to run on his own record. In the end, however, it doesn’t really matter who Biden chooses as a running mate. Like Clinton, he will be defeated by Trump.

David Catron
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David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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