It's Kamala

Ending months of speculation, former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Biden pledged to choose a woman as his vice-presidential partner and fulfilled his commitment with Sen. Harris. As time progressed, the pressure became intense for him to choose a woman of color, which he also now has done. The selection marks the third time a woman will appear on a major party ticket, the first being Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and then Sarah Palin in 2008.

Ms. Harris ultimately beat out Governors Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM), Gina Raimondo (RI), and Gretchen Whitmer (MI), US Senators Tammy Baldwin (WI), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Maggie Hassan (NH), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), US Representatives Karen Bass (CA) and Val Demings (FL), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (GA), and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (DC).

With the ticket now set, it remains to be seen, however, if Sen. Harris can deliver key votes in the swing states. During her presidential run, which ended even before the Iowa Caucus was held, Sen. Harris averaged only 5.4% in 94 publicly released polls from June until her exit day in the 10 states most likely to be determinative in the general election. 

Prior to the announcement, Emerson College Polling released a series of surveys conducted over the August 8-10 period in four presidential swing states, and in each case the results seem to cut against the average trend. In Pennsylvania (843 likely voters) and Arizona (861 likely voters), Emerson projects former Vice President Joe Biden to be running well ahead of the margin he has been posting lately. Both states showed a seven-point spread with no undecided voters. The Emerson pollsters often push respondents for a choice between major party candidates, which eliminates the undecided category. 

In North Carolina (873 likely voters) and Minnesota (733 likely voters), President Donald Trump is performing better than the average, leading in the Tar Heel State by one percentage point, and trailing in Minnesota by just two points. The latter number is significantly below the 8.6% Biden average spread determined from the last five Minnesota published polls prior to Emerson’s release.

Stay tuned for more updates on the presidential race.

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