“Middle-class and college-educated African Americans see her as an inspirational figure, but that demographic votes often and were in Biden's camp anyway,” said progressive commentator Jason Nichols. “Working-class Black voters are still mistrustful because of her mixed criminal justice issues.”
Of the Black women who were on Biden’s shortlist, Harris offered the highest name recognition, as well as experience running a national campaign. However, in the current political climate, nominating a former self-proclaimed “top cop” who jailed low-level drug offenders, prosecuted parents for truancy, and declined to investigate officer-involved shootings carries risks.
“I think it is actually less appealing to Black youth than to youth of other races because of her reputation in criminal justice, which is a huge issue for Black youth right now,” Faulkner said.
Harris downplayed complaints about her record as a prosecutor when confronted during the primaries, but younger Black voters who were never sold on Joe Biden to begin with might want to see her grapple more directly with her actions and express some regret.
“I think she’s going to have to address it,” said Carole Boyce Davies, a professor at Cornell University who studies Black women and political leadership.
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