- The gap between Biden and Harris is narrowing.
- Biden floated the idea of naming a female as his VP in a hope to boost his popularity.
- This may highlight a larger problem in the party, progressivism for the sake of progressivism.
For a while it seemed like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were going to be the two Democrats to duke it out for the party’s presidential nomination, but that may no longer be the case. Senator Kamala Harris has become a major contender for the nomination almost overnight. She was able to go toe to toe with the older and more experienced politicians during the last debate, and most pundits concluded that she won the debate.
Harris’s impressive display on the debate floor gave an instant boost to her poll numbers, and those numbers have continued to rise in the days following the debate. Harris is now beating Sanders by 1.2 points and is only 10.8 points away from former Vice President Joe Biden.
This recent jump in Harris’s numbers has not gone unnoticed by the former VP. During a recent interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Biden said it would be “great” to have a female vice president if he won the nomination. Biden went on to say, “I think it helps having a woman on the ticket, and there’s a lot of really qualified women out there.” When asked if he would make Senator Harris his running mate, Biden couldn’t answer.
After Harris hammered Biden on his insensitivity to race relations issues, he most likely hopes that floating the idea of a female running mate will help his falling poll numbers.
Biden isn’t the only Democratic candidate to employ this strategy. Senator Corey Booker made a similar statement in February:
“I believe there should be a woman president right now and we’ve worked very hard to get one, but we have such a great field of leaders. I think you will rarely see a Democratic ticket anymore without gender diversity, race diversity. I think it is something we should have. I’m not going to box myself in, but should I become it, you know I’ll be looking to women first.”
Neither candidate will actually commit to putting a woman on their ticket, but they both hope to gain popularity in the polls from suggesting it.
This may highlight a larger problem in the Democratic agenda, one that Republicans have been criticizing for years: progressivism for the sake of progressivism, or the use of progressive politics for no other reason than for political gain.
Biden still holds a comfortable lead over the other Democratic candidates, but if he isn’t careful the nomination could be swept out from under him.