Why did the Blacks in the Democratic presidential race fail to rise? Here are three theories

Nii Ntreh Jan 15, 2020 at 05:30pm

January 15, 2020 at 05:30 pm | Opinions & Features

Nii Ntreh

Nii Ntreh | Staff Writer

January 15, 2020 at 05:30 pm | Opinions & Features

Cory Booker's and Kamala Harris's presidential campaigns could not resonate with Americans. Photo Credit: Vox.com

In a few weeks, the Iowa Caucus will kickstart the strenuous process of nominating a candidate on behalf of the Democrats. And when it does, there will be no Black candidate in proper contention.

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has not dropped out of the race but it is a valid question to ask if he were ever in it.

What counted for Black representation was more visible in California senator, Kamala Harris and her colleague from New Jersey, Cory Booker.

Looking to follow in the footsteps of the last Democrat to occupy the White House, the pair of lawmakers never quite got around to lifting off. Any discussed surge never saw manifestation.

Harris was the favorite of the media elite and it was easy to see why. Being a woman of color, she preeminently ticked two boxes on the identity politics register.

Booker, on the other hand, looked like Barack Obama came back for another shot. It may not have been the New Jersey senator’s deliberate doing but the comparison was undeniably tempting.

Either way, both contestants quite simply failed. Harris, the better of two miserable campaigns, never went past 6% in credible national polls.

It is not wrong to argue that in the wider historical context, the odds were never in Harris’ or Booker’s favor.

They were looking to attain a level only one Black person had ever achieved – not that many had tried.

Booker called off his campaign on Monday, about a month after Harris. In the coming weeks, and quite probably, years, questions will need to be answered about why the Black candidates never inspired the numbers.

The three following arguments should be considered.

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