Black voters didn't need a black presidential candidate. They won't need a black VP either.

But one of the more notable findings is how little the conventional wisdom — that black people would be most drawn to a black candidate, or if not, at least require that a white nominee choose a black running mate — seems to reflect reality. According to the survey, 72 percent of respondents feel that it’s either “not so important” (35 percent) or “not important at all” (38 percent) for an eventual white nominee to choose a black vice president to diversify their ticket. This news seems unlikely to prompt either Biden or Sanders, both white men over 75, to change course from what their plans already appeared to be: Rumors circulated last year that Biden was considering naming a VP pick before even winning the primary, and Sanders said in a recent interview with the New York Times editorial board that he definitely wouldn’t choose an “old white guy” for his; former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is black, is widely considered a frontrunner for both. But these findings do suggest that the clannishness of black voter behavior is overstated. Today as in past elections, whatever intraracial affinity black voters feel toward black candidates is easily discarded when those candidates fail to convince them that a racist, majority-white general electorate will support them and prevent a Republican from winning.

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