Will it be a historic choice for VP? The pressure on Biden to pick a woman of color — let our expert help if you are covering

A man in a suit talking in a microphone.
Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As the race for the White House continues, speculations are growing on who former Vice President Joe Biden will have as his running mate.

As of late, the direction Biden is being shown is to choose a woman of color.

After a devastating start to the Democratic primary, Biden’s campaign was revived when black voters in South Carolina and throughout the south overwhelmingly sided with him. Now that he is the presumptive Democratic nominee, black voters and leaders are pressing for him to pick a black woman as his running mate.

Biden launched a committee last week to begin vetting possible candidates for the vice presidency, a process he has said will likely last through July. He has already committed to picking a woman.

But black voters and leaders say he needs to go further and pick a black woman. They argue that Biden’s success — and that of the Democratic Party as a whole — depends on black people turning out to vote in November. They want a tangible return for their loyalty to the democratic party.

Political analysts like Augusta University Political Science Professor Dr. Gregg Murray say Sen. Kamala Harris from California and former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams are the two standout choices that fit this bill. Although Harris and Abrams each bring positives to Biden’s campaign, Murray says they both have some baggage.

“Harris is respected in the senate and including Abrams on the ticket could help the Democrats penetrate the traditionally GOP voting south,” said Murray. “However, Harris has an unfavorable record among critics of criminal justice reform and Abram’s lost in Georgia’s governor’s race raises questions on her electability beyond her home territory. I’m sure Biden’s team will consider all the facts before making their final decision.”

As campaigns need to revamp and reconsider strategy in an election run in the wake of a pandemic, getting the ticket in order might come sooner than later. And if you are a reporter covering this topic, then let our expert help.

Murray, professor of political science at Augusta University, is available to talk about the upcoming election. Murray’s research focuses on political behavior and psychology with specific interests in voter mobilization and turnout. He is also executive director of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. He has been featured on CNN and is a go-to for national media covering campaigns. Click on his name to request an interview.


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Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or deharris1@augusta.edu.

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Written by Danielle Harris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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