In a recent national poll, former Vice President Joe Biden drops from atop the polls as the likely Democratic nominee, a front-runner no more.
Biden’s moderate approach to defeating impeached President Donald J. Trump displaced for the democratic socialist ideas of Senator Bernie Sanders and former New York Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg is waiting on the flank for Sanders and Bloomberg to falter.
In other words, this is how the 2020 presidential race is shaping up to white America. From white people’s perspective, the polls reflect Biden’s dismal showing in Iowa and his self-proclaim prospect that he will not win New Hampshire later this evening.
But wait a minute. The Iowa and New Hampshire electorate combine comprise less than three per-cent of Black, Latino, Asian, and Native voters.
Why is this an important fact?
People of color comprise a large segment of the country. Their collective voices, silent, thus far this election cycle.
One can say, the proverbial “Fat Lady” has not sung, old Joe Biden’s demise due to ideas from yesteryear, overly premature.
If valid, as I posit, that this new poll results from the prism of lily-white states, then the race comes down to a fight between a Democratic centrist and a Republican moderate to knock off the capitalist upheaval portend in a Sanders’ administration. While Biden, the liberal Democrat in this race, is retired to the history books as the side-kick to the first American President of African descent.
Analogous to a game of poker, Buttigieg is holding an outside straight. If Bloomberg can’t buy a win over Sanders, then Buttigieg gets the card he needs to complete his outside straight. He then becomes the heir apparent to carry the Democratic banner into the General Election.
Yet the colored choir has not sung.
Benjamin P. Dixon is an unapologetic African living in America. According to his Twitter profile, Dixon has the “dopest political podcast in the game.”
“I hope nobody thinks I’m getting out of bed on November 4 to vote for Pete Buttigieg,” Dixon, who is followed by 55, 000 on Twitter, twitted after Iowa.
In Nevada, on February 22, the colored choir, mostly immigrant citizens originally from our southern border, are stirring, clearing its throat for what we in the Black Church call “A singing.”
The next week the sopranos and the altos in South Carolina are poised to make Joe Biden the first “Comeback Kid” since William Jefferson Clinton.
By Super Tuesday, the bass and baritones in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia join the syncopate, rendering the strong showing of Sanders and Buttigieg weak and elevating the early fragile appearance of Biden, strong.
What the Democratic race has had are too many candidates. And not a clear direction on how the party plans to tackle Trump. After the curtain closes on the colored choir’s performance on Super Tuesday, the field of candidates will shorten. A pathway for a return trip to the White House grows clearer. It will be Sanders or Biden, but most surely, not Buttigieg.
While people of color do not begrudge Buttigieg’s lifestyle, and would never step negatively to him about it as white evangelicals do, the boomers at least, do not buy into the Buttigiegs as an American norm. Whether reported or not reported, talked about, or not talked about, this will be the undertone of colored boomer’s votes as the campaign spread across the country.
As Yogi Berra profoundly said, “It ain’t over, till it’s over.”
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at email@example.com.