During a Fox Sports Radio interview on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump insinuated that former Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to pick a woman to run alongside him on the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket later this fall may have been unwise, and may have even hurt his chances with men.
“I would be inclined to go a different route than what he’s done,” Trump said of Biden’s promise during the primary election contests to pick a woman vice presidential nominee. “He roped himself into a certain group of people. Some people would say men are insulted by that and some people would say it is fine.”
Biden is expected to announce his running mate sometime this week, as early as today even, though sources with knowledge of his thinking say an announcement is more likely to happen on Wednesday. Whoever the nominee will be, they will be slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week, although their speech will not be in front of a huge audience as it has been in years past due to the coronavirus.
Trump’s comments imply that many Americans, namely men, would be uncomfortable with a woman candidate. However, polling from 2019 by the nonprofit Lean In (an organization that seeks to promote “a world where people of every gender can pursue their dreams without bias or other barriers holding them back”) found that, not only are most voters fine with the idea of a woman candidate as vice president, they’re also mostly ready to see a woman become president, too.
Within that poll, 53 percent of registered voters said they are “very” or “extremely” ready for a woman to be president, with another 25 percent saying they are “moderately” ready for that to happen. Only 10 percent said they were just “slightly” in favor of the idea, while 12 percent said they were “not at all” ready for it to happen.
More recently, polling conducted after Biden made his pledge to pick a woman to be his vice presidential nominee demonstrates Trump’s assessment is wrong. A Fox News poll from March found that 63 percent of registered voters approved of the promise, while only 20 percent disapproved of the idea.
In the past few months, party insiders as well as those outside the party but who lean Democratic in their voting patterns have said that, not only are they hopeful a woman gets picked to be Biden’s VP choice, but that he also picks a woman of color to be the nominee, with 72 percent in a USA Today/Suffolk poll published in early July saying that it’s their preference.
On the other side of things, a plurality of Republicans, too, seem to be fine with the idea of Trump picking a woman as his running mate, dumping current Vice President Mike Pence for the hypothetical option of former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. In that same poll, 11 percent said they’d be “excited” about such a change, while 35 percent said they’d be accepting of Trump dropping Pence off the ticket for Haley. Only a combined 27 percent said the transition would be “not acceptable” in their minds or would otherwise make them “angry.”
Just who Biden will pick remains a mystery at this time, with the field currently wide open, though a number of names have been hinted at. Current Senators Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, have all been suggested as possibilities, as has Rep. Karen Bass of California, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan was also considered an early favorite for the role, and Susan Rice, who served as National Security Advisor and UN ambassador during the Obama administration while Biden was vice president, has also been floated as a potential choice for the nominee.