Why Is Kamala Harris Struggling With Black Voters So Much?

Can she figure it all out? Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ben: As Ed detailed in a post yesterday, Kamala Harris still isn’t gaining much traction among black voters in the Democratic primary, coming in at below 10 percent in two recent national polls. Joe Biden continues to dominate among this group, but Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have recently both polled ahead of Harris, too. Harris’s showing stands in contrast to Barack Obama, who by this this point in 2007 was already posting impressive numbers in South Carolina, among other places, on his way to a decisive victory. Why do you think Harris is having so much trouble?

Ed: I’d offer three quick reasons: (1) History has already been made with Obama, so there’s less perceived need for African-Americans to unite behind a black candidate; (2) Obama was a world-historical figure by the time he announced in 2007; Harris is mostly known as a cleverly tactical pol; and (3) the Electability Terror of 2020.

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