Nearly a year ago, this audacious fool wrote:
To reiterate for the hundredth time, Kamala Harris will be the Democrat nominee.
The Harris Hawk is a majestic bird. There’s nothing majestic about the Harris Crow, though–and it tastes terrible.
That said, the path I predicted Harris would follow to victory has not proven impassable. It remains open, but it turns out Biden is going to be the one walking down it instead Harris.
Why couldn’t she secure black support? Brahmin mother, affluent mulatto father, even more affluent Jewish husband, Attorney General in the state with the largest prison population in the country, just to name a few.
Still, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed woman is queen. The Democrat field is quite white. To win the nomination in 2008, Obama only had to be darker than Hillary Clinton, not Bobby Rush. Harris’ POC credentials may not match up to Stacey Abrams, but they’re better than Elizabeth Warren’s!
So why the ill-fated prediction? My thinking about the skinsuit game was way too simplistic. Blacks obviously didn’t vote for Ben Carson, and they’re not going to vote for a silver-spooned wannabe quadroon just because she expects them to.
Maybe if Biden wasn’t in the race, she’d have been the black candidate. But he’s in, so she isn’t. Having served as Obama’s loyal lieutenant for eight years, Biden has earned their support.
The fatal flaw in heralding Harris was not realizing this. It’s also the fatal flaw in the steady stream of predictions that have been made over the last several months about Biden’s impending collapse. It’s not just that blacks don’t care about his dottering gaffes or alleged political missteps in the past–it’s that they view the reactions to these things that are unfavorable to Biden as attacks on their guy and thus on themselves. Harris learned that the hard way.
After all the ridicule and abuse, Biden’s black support is as strong as ever. The subsequent graph shows average support by candidate among black Democrat primary voters from the latest SurveyUSA, Hill, and YouGov polls:
The candidates are arranged from greatest total primary voter support to least total primary voter support. We see that while Harris and Booker punch modestly above their weight among blacks, Biden towers over the entire field.
Biden’s black support has remained impervious to bad media coverage, poor debate performances, and accusations of racism. Maybe losses in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire will find the chink in his armor, but I wouldn’t bet on it.