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Biden taps Harris for VP spot on Democratic ticket

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Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden has chosen California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his national ticket running mate.

Harris, 55, was among the field of challengers for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination before dropping out ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The former prosecutor would be the first woman and first African-American vice president if the Biden-Harris ticket were to prevail in the Nov. 3 general election.

It’s a race that, for now, appears to favor Biden, who has a 7.2-point lead over President Donald Trump in the Real Clear Politics National Average of recent presidential polls.

For reference, Hillary Clinton had a 6.9-point lead on Trump in the RCP National Average on Aug. 11, 2016, and maintained a six- to seven-point advantage in that metric into mid-October, before that race tightened late.

You can almost bet that the 2020 race will tighten as we get into the fall.

Harris had been the presumed frontrunner for the second spot in recent weeks, as a liberal with a background as a prosecutor, but the selection was not a slam dunk in part because of her background in criminal justice, according to Virginia Tech political scientist Brandy Faulkner.

“As a former prosecutor, Harris is seen as a key participant in sustaining mass incarceration, including seeking lengthy sentences for low-level offenders. It will be difficult for her to redeem her reputation among criminal justice advocates in much the same way as it has been difficult for Biden,” Faulkner said.

Ultimately, Faulker feels the addition of Harris to the ticket will be a boost to Biden’s fortunes.

“No one can deny the incredible talent Harris possesses,” Faulkner said. “Her reputation for being a solid liberal politician helps the more conservative Biden. With Harris, Biden keeps his following among Black women but could also bring in more of the socially left-leaning constituents that Biden himself alienates.”

Story by Chris Graham