THE women vote will come under the spotlight in the United States presidential elections with Democratic party vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris on the verge of making history as the country’s first female deputy president.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Harris is a heartbeat away from the presidency ahead of tomorrow’s elections and is Joe Biden’s running mate in the polls.
The US has not had a female President or deputy and Harris, whose party has the support of women, according to experts, is staring at breaking the trend.
Christina Wolbrecht, professor and director of the Rooney Centre for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, told journalists covering the US elections in a virtual briefing that the influence of women in the American elections was great as they constituted more than 50% of the voters.
“Women are more than 50% of the voters, so their influence is great. However, they are not a single unified voting bloc and different parties and candidates tend to reach out to different groups of women,” she said.
Wolbrecht said women were more likely to vote for the Democrats than men.
“This is not because of the issue of abortion, but it is because women are more supportive of social spending and more racially tolerant, and the Democratic party is associated with both of those positions (more social spending, more racial tolerance).”
Responding to when the US may have a female President, she said it was difficult to predict but if Biden won, Harris would have made history.
“That said, a historic number of women ran for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020, and if Biden is elected, Kamala Harris will be the first female vice president in American history, a position that is one step away from the presidency,” she said.
Democrats were in the 2016 elections represented by Hillary Clinton who fell to incumbent Donald Trump.
Tierra Stewart, national fellowship programme director, said the coming election was likely to be a close shave.
“I am just going to keep it real with all of you. And just say that a lot of people aren’t really that excited about Joe Biden in general. And I’m just going to speak directly for right now, the black community. And so, with bringing Kamala Harris on board that automatically is going to secure the black woman vote, it really is,” Stewart said.
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