Healthcare reform, coronavirus, and who could beat President Donald Trump in a general election matchup were all obvious topics that viewers should have expected to be discussed in the debate between Democratic Party candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on Sunday night.
But a promise from Biden also made headlines — the pledge that a woman vice-presidential candidate would run alongside him, should he get the nomination.
Sanders made a similar promise, saying he was going to highly consider a woman to run with him too, but Biden’s words were more committal.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 16, 2020
“If I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration will look like the country and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a woman to be vice president,” he said in the debate.
Biden didn’t give any details on who he was thinking of. But according to polling from last month, there are a few names that top the list of Democratic voters’ opinions that he should give strong consideration toward.
An Emerson poll from mid-February asked respondents who should be the Democratic candidate for vice president. A clear plurality, 20 percent, said it should be current U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who also ran for president in the Democratic primary but dropped out early due to losing momentum during her campaign.
The poll, which also included men in its questioning, placed Andrew Yang in second place, with 18 percent. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came in third, with 16 percent saying she should be VP, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams came in fourth, with 8 percent saying she should be the nominee.
Women are the majority of the U.S. population, but we’ve never had a woman president.
There are plenty of inspiring, qualified women in American politics who could be president.
One of them must be on the Democratic ticket in November. https://t.co/9AgienhXhd
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 9, 2020
The poll, however, might not be a clear indicator as to how voters are thinking at this moment: it was conducted at a time when a number of other candidates were still in the race for president, including two prominent women candidates who were running, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
A separate poll from an organization called “She the People” asked individuals to choose between a number of women of color, to balance out not just the male side of the ticket but the fact that whoever wins the nomination will also be a white person.
Within that poll released this month, which only included considerations for female candidates of color, Stacey Abrams came out on top, with 63 percent of respondents saying they’d want her to be the VP candidate.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.