Dems, Media Blanch at Three White Guys Leading Early Polls

April 26, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg are consistently leading early Democratic primary polls.

The trio are all white males, and, as the kids say, some Democrats and media members aren't here for it.

"Why do you think white male candidates are doing better than any of the woman candidates?" MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) this week. Gillibrand, who frequently polls at zero percent, said she wasn't sure but it was a "marathon, not a sprint."

MSNBC's Joy Reid chuckled about Biden entering the race as a frontrunner ahead of the "three other white guys" polling in the top five, while former Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri bristled at the polls being led by "three white men."

Jess McIntosh of the left-wing Emily's Group sniffed on CNN at the notion that there was a disadvantage for the "white guys" in the primary, and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, CNN's Chris Cuomo and CNN's John King all referred to the "three white guys" or "three white men" at the top of the pack, in Iowa, New Hampshire, and nationally.

"Should a White Man Be the Face of the Democratic Party in 2020?" a New York Times headline asked.

"Democrats have seen the strong diversity in their field — with candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris reflecting the multiracial and largely female base of the party — become somewhat overshadowed by white male candidates," Astead W. Herndon and Matt Flegenheimer wrote.

Reporting from the "She The People" event where nine candidates answered questions from women of color in Texas, Politico wrote about the "frustration" over "heavy media attention being paid to white male candidates in the early days of the Democratic primary, and over polling they contended is feeding a misleading narrative that only a white man can defeat Trump."

"Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren Lead an Incredible Field of 2020 Women. How Are They Trailing Pete Buttigieg?" a pair of Daily Beast writers, Alexis Grenell and Christina Greer fretted this week.

"Women's lack of ambition is not the reason white men are leading in that race. Rather, it's some dubious notion of who's "electable" against Donald Trump. (Read: not a woman.)," they wrote.

Grenell also asked in a piece last month, "To the White Men Running to Be the Democratic Presidential Candidate: Can You Not?"

Some of the Democrats have tried to atone for their whiteness. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) announced in a tweet he was a white guy and he could do nothing about it, but would make up for it by picking a woman as his running mate. He was promptly ratio-ed into the earth's inner core.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas), who has seen his place as young media darling quickly supplanted by Buttigieg, noted last month he has white privilege. Acknowledging this fact did not lead to a surge in his support, however.