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These 2020 Candidates Lead The Polls. But How Do They Connect With Black Voters?47:18
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., from left, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg all gesture to speak during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (John Minchillo/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., from left, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg all gesture to speak during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (John Minchillo/AP)

The four leading Democratic candidates in the 2020 hunt are white. What do they need to do to earn the support of black voters? We ask Rashad Robinson, host of the "Voting While Black" podcast.

Guests

Clay Masters, lead political reporter at Iowa Public Radio and co-host of the podcast "Caucus Land." (@Clay_Masters)

Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, a racial justice organization. Host of the "Voting While Black" podcast. He writes a monthly column about race, politics and corporate accountability for The Guardian. (@rashadrobinson)

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Democratic state representative for District 66 in Orangeburg County, a position she’s held for the past 27 years. President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Superdelegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Social worker and CEO of CASA Family Systems. (@GCobbHunter)

From The Reading List

Iowa Public Radio: "Buttigieg Gains Traction In Iowa As Democrats Vie For Support" — "With less than three months until the Iowa caucuses, Democrats running for president are spending a lot more time campaigning in the state that leads the nominating process. That includes South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who just finished an Iowa campaign tour on Monday. He drew sharp contrasts to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who has been rising in the state’s polls.

"A band played while hundreds gathered in the rain at a rally for Pete Buttigieg last Friday in Des Moines. They were there ahead of the Liberty and Justice Celebration… a marquee fundraiser for the Iowa Democratic Party where candidates are looking for a breakout moment.

"Joe Schmidt from West Des Moines was in the crowd and says he’s leaning towards supporting Buttigieg in the Iowa caucuses.

"'He’s not going too far in one direction and he’s trying to bring people together,' Schmidt, who recently changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat, said."

New York Times: "Pete Buttigieg Is an Iowa Front-Runner. Will That Help Him Anywhere Else?" — "Ask almost any Iowa Democrat, and they’ll tell you: Pete Buttigieg is smart.

"He speaks multiple languages, went to Harvard University and plays the piano, Martha Ludeking, 63, recited, as she watched the presidential candidate take a picture with a fellow Iowan. Lori Lechtenberg, 59, said, 'There's just something about him — he's intelligent.' When an audience member asked about conditions in Gaza during a campaign stop in Mason City, Mr. Buttigieg began responding in Arabic. The overwhelmingly white audience, largely unaware of what he said, broke into raucous applause.

"'He’s a veteran. He’s a Rhodes scholar. He’s everything,' said Bret Van Ausdall, 37. He saw Mr. Buttigieg on Sunday at the fourth stop on his bus tour, a 72-hour whirlwind that prioritized small Iowa counties that had drifted from Democrats in recent elections. 'The Ph.D. ratio in this town is insane. We’re science-based. We’re logical people. And he speaks to that.'

"Throughout the summer months, Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., surpassed expectations in fund-raising and national polling, but his success was still dismissed as a temporary blip. He was seen as a flavor of the month in a historically large Democratic field who would eventually be eclipsed by more traditionally qualified candidates — senators, governors, a former vice president."

The Guardian: "Democrats heard our message of racial justice. When will corporations listen?" — "In politics, you know your voice matters when people in power first start repeating what you say, and then start doing what you say.

"In the Democratic party, racial justice movements now matter. We just witnessed two debates in which candidates vied to pronounce their commitment to the ideas defined by a people-powered vision of racial justice: reparations, ending mass incarceration, universal health insurance, community investment, and reining in the profiteering of corporations from Wall Street to big pharma. Candidates now promote these ideas as both necessary and possible because social movements made them do it: giving politicians bold policies and plans, and holding politicians accountable to fighting for them.

"Radically challenging the status quo is the new status quo for Democrats, and it was a long fight to shift the norm. Trump’s racism didn’t get these candidates to respond to issues of race. The power of social movements did."

Politico: "'Just nonsense': Kamala Harris calls narrative that black voters are homophobic a trope" — "Responding to comments made by a House Democratic leader about Pete Buttigieg's favorability in South Carolina, Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday dismissed the suggestion that African Americans are more wary than other demographic groups of a gay candidate.

"The California senator — one of the few black candidates running for president — called the narrative 'a trope' that was 'just nonsense,' and said that the trope has developed 'among some Democrats' to suggest African Americans are homophobic and transphobic.

"'To label one community in particular as being burdened by this bias as compared to others is misinformed, it’s misdirected and it’s just simply wrong,' Harris said on CNN Monday night.

"On Sunday, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn told CNN that there was 'no question' Buttigieg’s sexuality could hurt his popularity among older black voters, calling it a 'generational' issue."

This program aired on November 7, 2019.

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