Chris Cilizza of CNN quoted Joe Biden on Thursday about the timing of his selection of a running mate.
We're almost there.Cilizza ranks his top ten choices by likelihood of being picked, six of whom, Kamala Harris, Karen Bass, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings, and Tammy Baldwin, are currently serving in Congress and have Voteview scores. McClatchy and Politico also have these same six Senators and Representatives on their lists of probable running mates, so I'm doing for the Democratic Vice Presidential contenders what I did more than a year ago in Democratic presidential candidates from left to center from Voteview, rank them from left to center.* Again, "the scores of liberals are all negative and the more liberal they are, the more negative the scores, so the most liberal candidate will have the lowest or most negative score. That's not an aspersion on liberals; it just makes the people on the left graph [to] the left on a number line or two-dimensional graph."
"I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August," former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday of his vice presidential pick "and I promise I'll let you know when I do."
Since the two most liberal likely picks are former presidential candidates, I'm going to unretire their infographics at least until the announcement. I'm an environmentalist; I recycle. I begin with Elizabeth Warren.
Warren's score has returned to -0.769, still the most liberal score of any member of either house of Congress. While I like Warren, I don't think she's the best choice, mostly because Massachusetts has a Republican governor who would likely appoint a Republican to fill her seat should she ascend to the Vice Presidency. Democrats need every seat they can get and keep in the Senate for a majority.The most liberal candidate according to Voteview is still Elizabeth Warren. Since I began following the Democratic candidates in April, she has moved steadily leftward. Then, her score was -0.762. At the end of May, her score was -0.767, making her the most liberal member of the 116th Senate in addition to the most liberal candidate. Warren's score is now -0.774, making her the most liberal member of both houses of Congress.I wrote a brief update in An update on Democratic candidates' Voteview scores before Congress returns from August recess, saying "Elizabeth Warren was -0.774 in July and is now -0.769, moving slightly to the center/right, but is still the most liberal member of Congress." As I wrote above, Warren ended her run with a Voteview score of -0.767, the most liberal member of Congress.
Next, Kamala Harris.
Since leaving the contest last December, Harris has drifted slightly to the center with a score of -0.709, still good enough to remain the second most liberal Senator, although not the second most liberal member of Congress. That honor belongs to Representative Sylvia Garcia, who has an ideological score of -0.729.Kamala Harris has not had a steady a journey to the left as Warren. She began in April with a score of -0.702. She had moved slightly to the center by end of May with an ideology score of -0.696. Harris now has moved to the left of where she was last month with an ideology score of -0.710, making her more liberal than 97% of Democrats in the 116th Senate and the second most liberal Senator as well. All this time, she has been the second most liberal candidate according to Voteview.I updated Harris's ideological location in An update on Democratic candidates' Voteview scores before Congress returns from August recess.Kamala Harris was -0.710 in July and is now -0.713 and is still the second most liberal member of the current Senate, so she is continuing her leftward drift according to Voteview, which contrasts with her drift to the center according to On The Issues.Harris left the race with an ideology score of -0.714, so she continued her drift to the left right up to the end, although she is still the second most liberal Senator behind Elizabeth Warren with a score of -0.769, which is unchanged since August.
By the way, Cilizza has Harris as his first choice as do McClatchy, Politico, and FiveThirtyEight, which uploaded Confidence Interval: Will Biden Choose Kamala Harris As His VP?
Welcome to another episode of Confidence Interval, where we make a persuasive case for a hot take … and then reveal how confident we really feel about the idea. This time, elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich argues that Joe Biden will pick Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.Nathaniel Rakich is willing to be $20.00 on Harris and so are a lot of other people. I'm not one of them, but that's because I'm generally not a gambler and I like someone else just a bit more. Follow over the jump to find out who that is along with the scores for the rest of the women in Congress who experts think could be picked.
The most liberal contender for Vice President who hasn't already run for President is Karen Bass, who has a first-dimension DW-NOMINATE score (ideological score) of -0.585, which is more liberal than 95% of Democrats in the 116th House. Bass is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and a former Speaker of the California State Assembly. As a former Californian, I like her, but not as much as Harris.
Next, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who has an ideological score of -0.495, which is more liberal than 88% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. Baldwin's claim to fame is that she's "the first openly gay woman and first openly LGBT woman elected to the United States Congress as well as the first woman elected to the United States Congress from Wisconsin. In 2012, she became the first openly gay person and first openly LGBT person elected to the United States Senate as well as the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Wisconsin." Wisconsin was one of the states that put Donald Trump in office four years ago, so it has strategic value. In addition, now that Wisconsin has a Democratic Governor, her seat would remain in Democratic hands at least until the next special election. After that, I'm not confident.
The picks move to the moderate half of the Democratic caucus with Florida Representative Val Demings, whose ideological score of -0.340 places her as more conservative than 61% of Democrats in the 116th House. I doubt she'll get credit for being a moderate and her background as a police chief might actually work against her in the current environment. I consider Demings to be my least favorite among this group.
I end with my personal favorite, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth. The retired Army Lieutenant Colonel has an ideological score of -0.331, which is more conservative than 52% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. She's not my favorite because of her ideology. Instead, I like her biography. My only concern is that she was born in Thailand to an American father and Thai Chinese mother. She qualifies, although just barely, as a natural born citizen of the U.S. Other than that, I think she's great, although I suspect I'd lose money if I bet on her. I agree with everyone else that Harris is literally a better bet.
With that, I'm done for today. Time to post this before the subject turns into a pumpkin!
*Cilizza listed Susan Rice, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Gina Raimondo as the other possibilities. McClatchy and Politico added Stacey Abrams and Gretchen Whitmer to their lists while leaving off Raimondo. None of them have served in Congress, so they don't have Voteview scores. They do have analyses at On The Issues, so if the announcement isn't made Monday, I might be able to create and post a Vice-Presidential version of OnTheIssues.org's take on the Democratic presidential candidates from left to center. Stay tuned.