While Pete Buttigieg has managed to eat into some of Elizabeth Warren’s well-heeled white support, she has managed to finally begin gaining a foothold among blacks. In the latest YouGov survey, Warren is in second, at 17% support, among black primary voters. Biden remains far out in front, at 42%, but his advantage does appear to be starting to modestly narrow. If the last two Democrat presidential contests are any guide, gaining black support is crucial to securing the nomination. Warren’s team seems to understand that:
Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don’t take this endorsement lightly. I'm committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs. https://t.co/KqWsVoRYMb
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019
It might feel absurd to assess a tweet like this as tactically effective, but it is. The white support Warren risks losing to Buttigieg is the white support that likes direct appeals to blacks such as this one. That Woke word salad just means “black women”–but naming all the different varieties of black women, er, black womxn, is catnip for these affluent, highly-educated older white leftists. And courting blacks directly is something blacks like. That the tweet draws criticism from the center and the right is a feature rather than a bug for the two constituencies Warren is courting here.
While it may seem as though Warren voters’ second choice would be Bernie Sanders and vice-ver-sa, there is scant polling evidence to support as much. The predominant reason is due to the age of each candidate’s supporters. Sanders’ support comes almost exclusively from young voters:
He gets clobbered among those aged 45 and older:
Older voters are far more electorally reliable. It’s another reason I’ve never thought Sanders has had a chance.
On the other hand, younger voters are more likely to go down with the ship than take life boats over to the next most acceptable boat that floats. Sanders has a lot of power as a potential a kingmaker. I’ve also been skeptical of Warren’s chances, but a Sanders’ endorsement of her down the stretch could be decisive.