Many whites believe that most African Americans will vote for a black Democratic Party presidential candidate. That assumption of a black monolithic voting bloc is false. Blacks are like all other Americans when choosing someone to support.
The fact that an aging, white Democrat Joe Biden enjoys strong support among blacks while younger African American candidates Corey Booker and Kamala Harris do not, speaks to that truth. The late entry of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick—another African American candidate—will not change that equation.
Most Americans—regardless of identity—are focused on traditional bread and butter issues: quality education, good jobs, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and accessible health care.
The candidate—regardless of race, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion or even age—who talks persuasively and realistically about those issues, most likely will prevail.
Many of us have aspirational dreams, which is why socialist progressives Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have strong appeal among some segments of our society. It explains why Donald Trump defeated a field of well-known, better-qualified Republicans in 2016. He and now Warren and Sanders speak to our emotions instead of our intellects.
But we can hope that this time around most Americans are smarter and more realistic than some of the candidates believe. If true, next year voters will reject the simplistic, pie-in-the-sky promises of the snake oil vendors and instead choose a president who can actually accomplish something.
The possible candidacy former Democratic New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—also is unlikely to change the current campaign landscape.
Although Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg bring adequate credentials to their campaigns, the question of their timing may be more decisive to their fate than their proposals or appeal to a targeted constituency.
Better late than never may be true in some endeavors. But it seldom works in a run for the presidency.