Who should be the first female president: Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris? | The Tylt
Who should be the first female president: Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris?
FiveThirtyEight puts Harris towards to the front of the pack of presidential hopefuls, saying she has the "potential to be among the strongest contenders in the 2020 Democratic field." According to FiveThirtyEight, her racial background, age, and professional history set her apart from older white candidates like Warren.
Her biography and record make it easy to imagine Harris doing well with African-Americans, who likely will represent about one-in-five primary voters in the Democratic primary electorate, as well as Asian-Americans. Harris narrowly lost the Latino vote in her 2016 election to a fellow Democrat1 who is Mexican-American (Loretta Sanchez), but there isn’t any particular reason to think she is disliked by Latino voters. The way Harris is likely to position herself on policy issues during the campaign — liberal as any candidate on noneconomic issues but not as liberal on economic issues as, say, Bernie Sanders — echoes Hillary Clinton’s platform in 2016 (Harris’ sister Maya was Clinton’s policy director.) So I’m sure party loyalists, particularly black voters and older women, who backed Clinton will give serious consideration to Harris. The California senator is not particularly young (54), but you could imagine millennials galvanizing around electing the first Asian and first female president in the same way they embraced Obama in 2008.
Warren, though, had a strong showing in her 2018 re-election campaign in Massachusetts. FiveThirtyEight used data from this election and past presidential election data from Massachusetts to extrapolate Warren's chances of beating Donald Trump. The data shows "places that swung toward Trump still like Warren."
Just like other white,5blue-collar areas in the rest of the country, Western Massachusetts broke with longstanding Democratic tradition in the 2016 election. Warren’s ability to match or even exceed President Obama’s 2012 performance in these areas suggests that she might be the right candidate to persuade Obama-Trump voters to once again vote Democratic in the 2020 general election. In addition, a majority of Democrats in most of these towns — some of which are fairlybohemian — voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. That’s a pretty good indication that Warren may also find a primary base among economically struggling communities that could be receptive to her populist message.
Harris has built her campaign around her background as the daughter of immigrants and her commitment to social justice issues. Per Politico:
Harris’ campaign designed the speech as a venue to tie her message to her biography as the daughter of a Jamaican-born father and Indian-born mother. But aides also saw it as a way for the senator to put down stakes on several progressive issues, from Medicare for all, to a $500-a-month tax break for the middle class paid for by rolling back the Republican tax overhaul, to guaranteed universal pre-kindergarten and debt-free college.
...Harris said she’d spent her professional life working on behalf of victims. “My whole life, I’ve only had one client: the people,” she said
Harris has been criticized for being too conservative during her time as attorney general of California, leading some to question her stated commitment to social justice. Warren, on the other end, has been criticized for potentially being "too far to the left," per FiveThirtyEight. Warren has pushed back against such questions by stating she has committed her entire life to working for the people, much like Harris.
“I’m out talking about the economic issues, about how government works, about what’s happening to middle class families, working families, all across this country — why the path has gotten rockier and rockier,” Warren said. “This is what I’ve worked on all of my life. I’m delighted that there are lots of Democrats who want to talk about ideas, who want to talk about a way to build a stronger America; I believe in that.”