Black Democrats Rally Behind Kamala Harris as Biden’s Popularity Fades

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In a bold move, Vice President Kamala Harris led a chorus of prominent Black Democrats in warning that a reprise of Donald Trump’s presidency is a reality to be reckoned with ahead of November’s election. Harris spoke during a speech at the Essence Festival of Culture, avoiding any mention of President Joe Biden’s poor debate performance or calls for his departure from the race. However, the contrast between her and congressional Black Caucus members who vigorously defended Biden could indicate a rift within the party.

“I know who I’m voting for. I’m with the Biden-Harris team, because we’re still going to have a sister in the White House fighting for us and making a difference,” Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, exclaimed. Black leaders and voters acknowledged Biden’s support for the Black community, but emphasized that if he is pushed aside, Harris should be the obvious replacement. Glynda Carr, chair of Higher Heights, a political organization backing more Black women in office, opined, “If this was an all-white male ticket, would we be talking about other people who have less experience, less qualifications?”

As the presidential bid struggles to regain momentum, Vice President Harris may find herself in the driving seat. Should Biden opt against a re-election bid, Harris is an early favorite to lead the ticket, thanks to her experience and connection with Black voters. Antjuan Seawright, a Black Democratic strategist, proclaimed, “Anyone other than Kamala would be malpractice — and it would tear the party apart.” Seawright reasoned that Black voters’ loyalty and the party’s interests demand a commitment to Harris.

During Harris’s speech, she emphasized the stakes in November, stating, “We each have the power to decide what kind of country we want to live in.” Although her tone was upbeat, she faced differing opinions on Biden’s strength and capabilities for a second term. Erica Peterson from New Orleans remained committed to the Democratic candidate, citing his track record despite the recent debate performance. On the other hand, nurse Star Robert in New York City was uncertain about Harris’s appeal. “I don’t know what her angle is, I haven’t seen enough of her, we haven’t,” Robert concluded.

Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City.

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