Kamala Harris isn’t ‘electable’? It could be code for not being a white man

Jul 19, 2019

San Francisco Chronicle | Joe Garofoli

Public opinion may be changing about what “electability” means, according to a poll that will be released next week by Gender on the Ballot, a partnership between the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and American University’s Women and Politics Institute.

It found that 72 percent of the 488 likely Democratic primary voters surveyed nationwide were most interested in a candidate who “best represents the values and priorities I want in a president,” compared with 28 percent looking for someone who has “the best chance of beating the opposition.”

The poll also found that respondents prized candidates’ ability to “hold their own” in a debate and who have “many well-thought-out policy proposals.”

“Going toe-to-toe with Joe Biden in the (first) Democratic debate is one reason why Kamala Harris is getting a bump in the polls,” said Betsy Fischer Martin, executive director of the Women and Politics Institute. “And having a lot of well-thought-out policy proposals is partially why Elizabeth Warren is doing well.

“The conventional wisdom is that electability is the most important thing, but it’s only one factor of what people are thinking about,” Fischer Martin said. “And for female candidates, that is a good thing.”

Read more at The San Francisco Chronicle

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