At this point, the only way Vice President Biden is going to win the election is through everybody hating Trump (which isn’t as unlikely as it sounds) or through him picking the right running mate. Biden has to worry the most about two groups of people not voting for him, progressives who supported Senator Sanders and voters from swing states — after all, that’s what screwed over Hillary Clinton. So who can he pick that would solve both those issues? My best guess is Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
One only needs to look at 2018 to see his power. That year, the state of Ohio voted for:
- A Republican Governor
- Twelve Republicans In The House Of Representative (75% of the districts in Ohio)
- A Republican Attorney General
- A Republican Sectary Of State
- A Republican Treasurer
- A Majority Republican State House
- A Majority Republican State Senate
- One of the most progressive Senators
In 2011, Brown was ranked the 8th most progressive member of Congress. Yet, he has somehow managed to win elections among a state that usually elects Republicans — an amazing feat.
Think about this, no running mate has lost there home state since Senator Estes Kefauver ran with Governor Adlai Steveson (later Ambassador to the United Nations) against President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon in 1956! Consider now that this state has voted with the winner every time since 1960, when they voted for Vice President (later President) Nixon over Senator (later President) Kennedy. Before that, it was when they voted for Governor Dewey over President Roosevelt in 1944. Overall, Ohio has voted with the winner in all but two elections after the 20th century.
Senator Brown was already one of the people Hillary Clinton’s campaign was considering back in 2016. Others were talking about Senator Warren, Labor Sectary Tom Perez (now chair of the Democratic National Committee) and the eventual pick of Senator Tim Kaine.
Again, considering Tim Kaine’s home state of Virginia had voted with the winner every time since 1960, it wasn’t a bad choice per say to go with him. However, going with the Chair of the Democratic National Committee during the election John Boehner took control of the House Of Representatives might not have been the best idea.
I’m not saying this is some kind of mystical prophecy where Biden wins when he picks Senator Brown, but the trends are quite easy to notice.
Ideally, Biden needs to pick somebody both progressive and from a swing state. Others have suggested former Georgia Minority Leader Stacy Abrams and Ohio State Representative Nina Turner — both black women and progressive darlings — to run with Biden, and those could work as well. Especially if Biden insists, as he’s promised a number of times, that he’s going to pick a female candidate.
Out of all of them, the only one who has won a statewide election is Senator Brown — and detestably Stacey Abrams. Yes, she came really close to winning the governor race against Brain Kemp, however, she lost none the less. Brown is a sure thing, compared to Abrams who is only a mostly sure thing.
Either way, Biden needs to win with progressives and swing state voters. The easiest way to do this is by picking a progressive who is also from a swing state.