Earlier today, Rachel Bitecofer of the Niskanen Center and Swing Left Political Director Ashlei Blue joined the Virginia Women’s Summit to provide their predictions for the 2020 elections. Check out the video below, including highlights such as:
- Rachel Bitecofer reiterated her view that Joe Biden should pick an African-American woman as his running mate. Bitecofer also talked about yesterday’s primaries as indicating that there’s a need for Biden to pick a progressive running mate (definitely “not a moderate,” in Bitecofer’s view), as there may still be “a lot of left-wing dissatisfaction” out there.
- Bitecofer said “the worst thing that could possibly happen” is if Biden were to pick a running mate who “has covered up or abetted police violence – don’t do that!” “You know who has not done that? Stacey Abrams – never worked in law enforcement…I like Kamala Harris, I think she’s great, I hope to god she has nothing like that on her record…but I definitely caution Team Biden…fine-toothed comb.” Bitecofer pointed out that Kamala Harris is *not* a moderate, but in fact is “to the left of Bernie Sanders” if you look at all of her votes in the U.S. Senate.
- Bitecofer warned that the Trump campaign’s “death star” will try to divide African Americans and suppress their enthusiasm/vote for Joe Biden. She said she’s watching voter suppression efforts very closely.
- Ashlei Blue talked about the work of Swing Left and emphasized the complications of voting in the time of COVID-19. Blue said the “Super States” for Swing Left are Maine, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Iowa – they are either one or more presidential, Senate or state legislative. Blue stressed that the biggest enemy we face this year is not Trump, “it’s voter suppression…in all 50 states.”
- Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy (D) was the “surprise Zoom bomber” in the chat. She emphasized that “voter suppression is real.” Carroll-Foy added that “power never concedes easily…and never will,” but that women are “not asking politely, we’re not asking for permission, we’re taking what’s ours and we’re coming for those seats.” She said that women have to be at the table, and the best way to do that is to run for office; also crucial is voting, registering people to vote, getting people out to vote, etc. Carroll-Foy stressed the importance of making it as easy as possible for people to vote, including vote-by-mail, streamlining the absentee ballot process, protecting voting rights, etc.
- Bitecofer said the two districts that are vulnerable for Virginia Democrats this year are VA02 (Rep. Elaine Luria vs. Republican Scott Taylor) and VA07 (Rep. Abigail Spanberger vs. Republican Nick Freitas, most likely). Bitecofer stressed the crucial importance of putting in the resources to make sure Democrats turn out African-American voters, which Bitecofer believes Democrats failed to do in November 2019, costing Democrats several State Senate and House of Delegates races. “We have to help empower Black voters…we have to be real allies.” Bitecofer stressed the need for Democrats to understand that “we’re in a war…where people will die if we don’t win it.”