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US News Why a Biden Victory Hinges on Picking the Right Running Mate

15:08  26 may  2020
15:08  26 may  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Joe Biden has hinted that he might serve only one term if he wins. That would set up a woman as the front- runner for 2024 and perhaps define the Democratic agenda for the next decade. Mr. Biden may be all but anointing his party’s next front- runner with his running mate selection.Credit Maddie

Biden has begun the vetting process for a running mate after announcing his vice presidential Biden has openly talked about other candidates he’s considering, including Michigan Gov. I grew up poor, black and female in the South, someone who was told a lot of times that I wasn’t the right color

Joe Biden looking at the camera: An ad for Joe Biden’s digital campaign for president. © Damon Winter/The New York Times An ad for Joe Biden’s digital campaign for president.

Do vice-presidential picks matter? Conventional wisdom argues they have limited electoral impact.

But a vice-presidential pick does matter in a particular way to elections. It suggests the strategy and tactics a campaign will pursue. The pick might complement the ticket, like Al Gore did for Bill Clinton in 1992, or the pick might balance the ticket, like Mike Pence did for Donald Trump.

So Joe Biden’s electoral fate may well hinge on this decision. In our polarized era, where turnout determines election victors and each party’s coalition has become more locked in, ticket-balancing picks for vice president can be helpful in mending primary wounds and generating excitement for the coalition in the general election.

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Biden has previously said he would seriously consider naming a woman or a person of color as his running mate . During last month's debate in Charleston, South Carolina, ahead of that state's primary — where a victory gave Biden momentum that propelled him into Super Tuesday wins just

Joe Biden told voters in New Hampshire on Monday that he would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate , but added, "I can't think of one right now.".

That is why Mr. Biden should select for his running mate a ticket balancer.

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More on this story:

Joe Biden’s best ‘running mate’? The president he served. (Washington Post)

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Can Joe Biden fight Trump's brutal tactics? (The Guardian)

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Now, the temptation for Mr. Biden to pick a ticket “complementer” will be high. All the conventional wisdom suggests that ticket complementers “do no harm” because they are, essentially, prototypes of the presidential nominee.

By contrast, ticket balancers offer voters something the main nominee lacks and often are meant to motivate a group within the coalition with which the nominee has struggled to gain traction. Balancers are perceived to be riskier, especially since John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin in 2008.

What the Polls Say About Donald Trump vs Joe Biden in Key 2020 Swing States

  What the Polls Say About Donald Trump vs Joe Biden in Key 2020 Swing States Recent polling in Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania show Biden in the lead. But many voters remain undecided.Recent polling in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida--states that former President Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012, but Trump won in 2016--showed Biden several points ahead of the incumbent president. Meanwhile, the traditionally Republican stronghold of Arizona appears to be shifting blue, although the state has only voted for a Democratic presidential candidate once in the past five decades.

Biden pledged nearly two months ago to pick a woman as his running mate , elevating the The group had just completed a survey of its members that it said showed 62 percent favoring Warren as Biden ’s running mate and 22 percent wanting Abrams. “It could be a margin of victory if he has the right candidate. That doesn’t mean any black running Questions about why you are seeing this?

Proposed running mates fall into two general categories: those who would emphasize Biden ’s strengths and those who would make up for some of his Biden said he will name the members of his search committee by the beginning of May. Running mates are typically announced in the weeks

Hillary Clinton is often castigated as running a terrible, horrible, no good, doomed campaign. She actually ran a perfectly fine campaign — but strategically speaking, it was the wrong kind of campaign. It was based on the flawed assumption that a significant portion of American conservatives would not, simply could not, vote for Donald Trump.

But on Election Day, 90 percent of Republicans voted for him; Mrs. Clinton also failed to carry independents, despite a campaign structured mostly on winning them over.

Mrs. Clinton’s “do no harm” pick — Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia — ended up doing her considerable harm. The strategy built around the pick ended up leaving the party’s progressive flank vulnerable to, among other things, a sophisticated Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign.

In addition, so-called protest balloting in 2016 was three to five times higher than normal in the swing states. In states like Wisconsin, which was decided by less than a percentage point, nearly 6 percent of the electorate cast protest ballots. For all the attention placed on white, working-class voters and their continued realignment away from Democrats, protest balloting affected the outcome of every swing state contest and played a pivotal role in Mr. Trump’s destruction of the Democrat’s Midwest “blue wall.”

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Picking a vice president is always about winning the election. If you lose, it won’t matter who goes down with you. And if, as seems likely today, former vice president Joe Biden heads the ticket, voters will have a second, related question Henry Olsen: Why a Biden -Klobuchar ticket can beat Trump.

Biden told virtual attendees that he reached out to Obama for advice on picking a running mate , and was told to look Biden has previously admitted to speaking with Obama about potential VP choices, telling supporters at another fundraiser in The Best Memorial Day 2020 deals you can get right now.

Video: What gave Biden the edge over Sanders? Five takeaways (Reuters)

Yet Mr. Trump still has a plurality problem, and his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, knows it. Even before the pandemic came along to destroy his best argument for re-election, the economy, Mr. Trump was unpopular among independents and has hardly ever (aside from a brief moment early in the coronavirus crisis) hit 50 percent approval rating nationally and rarely in swing states.

The only way to re-elect a plurality president is to make a plurality vote share sufficient enough to win. And the best way to do that is to replicate Russia’s playbook of targeting parts of the Democratic coalition — like progressives and young black voters — to turn them against voting for Mr. Biden.

The only person who has as much riding on Mr. Biden’s decision is Mr. Trump. As in 2016, he hopes to pick off or discourage disgruntled progressive voters. Much of Mr. Trump’s re-election hopes are pinned on Mr. Biden making the wrong choice of running mate.

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Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Sunday that she "trust(s) Joe Biden to make the best decision" when it comes to selecting a running mate to help him beat President Donald Trump in November.

Joe Biden says he'll pick a woman as his running mate if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden became the 2020 Democratic front- runner in the first place largely because of the overwhelming support he's received from African American voters.

So the Biden team must make a pick that can help Democrats match what promises to be an energized Republican base. The best way to do that is a ticket-balancing candidate like Stacey Abrams or Kamala Harris. They would bring gender and racial diversity to the ticket and, perhaps even more important, ideological diversity.

That might prove to be the single most effective way to head off the Trump campaign’s “divide and conquer” plan for progressives in 2020. With 120 million millennials and Generation Z potential voters now powering their coalition, Democrats would be wise to recognize that their electoral fate hinges on getting these voters to the polls. Mr. Biden is positioning himself as a bridge to the party’s future — and liberals like Ms. Harris and Ms. Abrams would help pave the way.

Another ticket-balancing approach would be to put a down payment on the Democratic Party’s geographic future. This approach would focus resources not as much on the Midwest but on Sunbelt states from California to Georgia through Texas, which could rise as a potential swing state as early as 2024. This would have the Biden team looking at Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, the country’s first Latino female governor, or at Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada as potential running mates.

Why a Biden Victory Hinges on Picking the Right Running Mate

  Why a Biden Victory Hinges on Picking the Right Running Mate Do vice-presidential picks matter? Conventional wisdom argues they have limited electoral impact. But a vice-presidential pick does matter in a particular way to elections. It suggests the strategy and tactics a campaign will pursue. The pick might complement the ticket, like Al Gore did for Bill Clinton in 1992, or the pick might balance the ticket, like Mike Pence did for Donald Trump. So Joe Biden’s electoral fate may well hinge on this decision.

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Mr. Biden’s nomination maxes out the ticket’s appeal to the center of the electorate. Among independents, the pandemic, economic collapse and Mr. Trump’s antics already provide Mr. Biden a hard edge. A centrist, ticket-complimenting pick like Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will likely bring diminishing returns in this regard. As a fellow white moderate, Ms. Klobuchar is a quintessential ticket complimentor — a 2020 version of Mr. Kaine.

If Mr. Biden is going to ignore the fact that today’s Democratic Party represents the most racially diverse coalition in America’s history, he should at least look to a ticket balancer like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who would bring ideological diversity and guarantee robust turnout and loyal support among progressives, many of whom are independents.

The special election last week in California’s 25th District shows Democrats are still vulnerable to low turnout; when their coalition fails to turn out, they lose. It also dispelled a dangerous myth — suburban Republicans are not casting ballots for Democrats. If Democrats want to hold on to or even expand on their House gains from 2018 and potentially take control of the Senate, they need an excited electorate.

Election outcomes in key states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona all come down to the same thing: the percentage of Democrats and left-leaning independents that end up casting ballots compared with the percentage of Republicans and right-leaning independents that do so. Republicans understand this campaign math and learned to solve this equation a long time ago. The only question is, have Democrats finally solved it too?

Rachel Bitecofer (@RachelBitecofer) is an election forecaster and senior fellow at the Niskanen Center.

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