Zogby: Biden needs Black running mate to shore up minority support

Recent polling suggests that former Vice President Joe Biden is significantly underperforming when it comes to the Black vote, something which prompted one well-known pundit to argue that it is rather obvious what Biden needs to do now.

According to the Washington Examiner, John Zogby believes that Biden’s disappointing level of support within the Black community “argues for the selection of an African American woman” to be his running mate.

Biden’s next move

In an analysis of his most recent survey, Zogby called Biden’s comparative underperformance with Black voters “a possible sign of concern.”

Accordingly, Zogby said that the results could force Biden’s hand, giving him little option but to choose a Black running mate.

“First significant event: the very important choice of a running mate,” Zogby wrote. “The whole world is watching, and this certainly argues for the selection of an African American woman. These numbers among blacks are dismal.”

Biden has already committed to selecting a female running mate, as NPR noted, and, given the recent civil unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, many have been pressuring the former VP to choose a Black woman. According to Zogby, these most recent poll results give credence to such a strategy.

“Blacks are not where they should be,” Zogby wrote. “Young and Hispanics look good, as do women. I think he has slack for a month, but this may be the most important VP choice since 1960. I hear a lot about [Illinois Sen.] Tammy Duckworth, but if his pollsters are showing what ours are, the choice will have to be a black woman.”

History’s warning

Zogby’s survey, which was just released on Monday, found that of the 1,000 voters surveyed, only 77% of Black voters plan on voting for Biden this November. That is cause for serious concern among the presumptive nominee’s campaign, considering the historical importance of the Black vote to the electoral prospects of Democratic candidates in recent races.

To provide some perspective, Hillary Clinton received 88% of the Black vote in 2016, and many believe that this comparatively low number was a significant contributor to her ultimate defeat. Former President Barack Obama garnered 93% of the Black vote during his successful 2012 re-election bid, by way of comparison.

Just as Biden’s support among Black voters is raising red flags among Democrats, President Donald Trump is exceeding expectations, earning 14% Black support in the Zogby poll and 21% in a recent Rasmussen Reports poll.

While President Trump’s numbers may seem low upon first glance, they are actually quite exceptional among Republicans. The only GOP candidate to come close to 14% in the past two decades was George W. Bush, who reached 11% Black support in 2004, according to the Examiner.

If this trend continues, Biden will face an uphill battle as November draws closer. Whether he takes Zogby’s advice and chooses a Black female running mate is something that remains to be seen.

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