A new poll out from CBS News is out with results on who Democrat voters want Joe Biden to pick for his vice-presidential choice. Interestingly, the results line up pretty well with opinions coming from big-money donors in Hollywood and not at all with donors on Wall Street.
The CBS News poll asked only about women because Biden has indicated he’d pick a woman. There is no way the party of identity politics can run a presidential ticket with two men on it, and certainly not two white men. It wasn’t a particularly large sample of voters, either. “This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,200 U.S. residents interviewed between April 28 – May 1, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is ± 2.5 points.”
Ok. So, who’s up and who’s down? With the economy in the dumpster and a coronavirus pandemic crisis overshadowing all other issues, both economic expertise and crisis management skills are of top importance. The importance of crisis management experience comes in at 57%, economic expertise at 49%, national security experience at 39%, and legislative experience at 37%. The potential choice that comes in first is Elizabeth Warren. If you look at the four categories of importance, she fits the bill. A whopping 71% of Democrat voters polled said she should be chosen. She also is the first choice of the respondents, though not with such a big lead – she is in first place at 36%. The other top choices are Kamala Harris’ at 19%, Stacey Abrams at 14%, and Amy Klobuchar at 13%. No one else gets over 4%. Other names on the list included Tammy Duckworth, Susan Rice, and Gretchen Whitmer.
There’s no doubt that Warren, Harris, and Klobuchar have the top name recognition as they all ran for the presidential nomination. All have dropped out and endorsed Biden. Ironically, to me, it’s Amy Klobuchar who has seemed to be most anxious to be chosen of the top three women. Stacey Abrams is lesser-known but still well-known since she ran for governor of Georgia and captured the Hollywood vote, though not the final Georgia vote. Since then she has played victim of alleged voter suppression and refused to get on with her life. Like Hillary, she refuses to leave the stage and now is downright aggressively pursuing becoming Biden’s choice. I’ve never seen such bold public begging for the vice-presidential spot on the ticket. Duckworth might appeal to war veterans. Whitmer was unknown until the coronavirus hit and though she’s captured the spotlight, it hasn’t gone so well for her. Her inner dictator appeared fairly early on and residents of Michigan are not so favorable of her performance.
For voters claiming that economic expertise is their number one priority, Warren is preferred. Kamala Harris, though, is favorable among both white and black voters. She also is looked upon as the most likely to motivate Democrat turn-out, which would be helpful since Biden has a real enthusiasm problem with voters. Joe Biden is the candidate the establishment Democrats settled for, not who the grassroots and the progressive wing of voters are enthusiastic about.
Abrams is favored by black Democrats over white Democrats and by liberals over moderates. That makes sense given her continued claims of victimhood and racism from her last campaign. Amy Klobuchar is favored by older voters more so than younger voters and white Democrats more than black Democrats. Klobuchar would be a safe choice that could pull in support from the midwest region of the country.
While the majority of Democrats are found to want a more liberal or progressive person to be chosen, they also acknowledge that a moderate, safer choice would be of more help in winning the election. Hence, the rub. Above all, voters want someone who can step up and do the job of the president if it comes down to that with a Biden administration. It’s a fair concern, too, given how frail and feeble Status Quo Joe appears to be. I question if he’ll survive the campaign, much less a four-year term in the highest office in the land.
What do the pampered and privileged big donors in Hollywood think about Biden’s choice? As much as they would like it to happen, they acknowledge that Michelle Obama isn’t going to step in and save the election for the Democrats. She doesn’t check off any of the boxes for the top four considerations that Democrat voters are looking for in expertise or experience but she’s a superstar.
“Michelle Obama is a superstar and could be a big asset, but she doesn’t need or want this,” a prominent Tinseltown donor to the Democrats wistfully says of the popular former First Lady becoming the running mate to her husband’s ex-Vice President.
“Michelle would be ideal, but that’s not going to happen,” another politically active insider added, calling it “a dream ticket that will remain a dream.” Michelle Obama has a new Becoming documentary debuting on Netflix on May 6 as part of the couple’s overall deal with the streamer.
Hollywood’s big donors are going with Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Stacey Abrams for now. They think that Klobuchar is just too safe of a choice. “She is so impressive, but if you were blah about Biden, you are still going to be blah if Amy is the pick,” says a well-connected insider about the Minnesota senator, who has been a frequent surrogate for Biden over the weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown.” That’s the exact opposite of most presidential campaigns, right? Usually, the top of the ticket is the one with all the enthusiasm and the choice for vice-president is suppose to project a safe and experienced choice. In the case of Biden himself when Team Obama decided on him, Biden was put on the ticket to assure voters that there would be someone with foreign policy experience in the inner circle.
Those in Hollywood who identify more on the progressive wing of the Democrat Party like Warren. She is also acknowledged to be someone who will alienate voters in the heartland of America.
“Elizabeth Warren would be a great pick, would unify the party and would be a great President eventually in her own right,” says another politically active filmmaker about the Massachusetts senator, whose policy stances appeal to the progressive instincts of many in Hollywood’s donor class.
Then there’s a celebrity in the world of sports who has tossed her hat in the ring for consideration by Team Biden. Dr. Jill approves, too. It’s women’s soccer star/political and social activist Megan Rapinoe. She could be the official kneeler at ceremonies and whatnot to protest the injustice du jour for the Biden administration. Mrs. Biden a.k.a. Dr. Jill is a huge fan. She died her hair purple to match Megan’s during the World Cup. Rapinoe did an Instagram live spot with both Bidens last week. She originally backed Warren then settled for Joe when he was the last candidate standing.
Big money donors on Wall Street, though, are still not on board with Elizabeth Warren. They prefer Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, even Gretchen Whitmer, over Warren.
“I think a lot of the donor base, on board and coming, would prefer almost anyone but Elizabeth. I don’t see him choosing her for veep” said a longtime fundraiser for Biden who is regularly in touch with him.
“She would be horrible. He would lose the election,” said a Wall Street executive who was once backing others running in the Democratic primary and later joined Biden’s donor ranks.
There you have it. From the polling of regular Democrat voters, Warren is the top choice. In the entertainment world, Warren is a favorite. Yet, Wall Street wants nothing to do with her. That’s the bridge Biden has to build now. In order to reap the big financial donations, which he will need up against Trump, he has to find a way to satisfy all of them.