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The media should shut up about the supposed lack of diversity in the Democratic presidential field

By Curt Anderson
January 14, 2020 1:39 pm
Category: Politics

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One of the most annoying non-story news stories is the alleged lack of diversity in the remaining Democratic field of primary candidates. I hesitate to use the term, but this really is "fake news".

Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate
(The Hill) Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick (pictured) criticized Tuesday night's Democratic primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa, for a lack of diversity.

"Tonight, six candidates will take the debate stage, all remarkable public servants," the former Massachusetts governor said early Tuesday. "Yet tonight America will not see herself in full."

Patrick, who entered the race late and has yet to qualify for a primary debate, cited that "three of the four candidates who have most recently left the race have been candidates of color."

DNC Chairman Tom Perez defended the requirements Tuesday, saying that they are "transparent" and "inclusive."

"We made the rules, they were very transparent, they're very inclusive, and we can't change the rules midstream because there's a candidate that I wish were on but didn't make the debate stage," Perez said on CNN's "New Day."

According to census figures, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 60.4% of the national population. African Americans are 13.4%, Hispanics are 18.3%, Asians are 5.9% and American Indian and Alaska Natives are 1.3% of the US population. The remaining population identifies as Pacific Islander, "other" or mixed race.

If the six Democratic candidates in the last debate before the Iowa caucuses were truly representative of the US population three candidates would be white, one would be Hispanic, one would have three African-American grandparents and one Asian grandparent, the last candidate would be a mixture of racial and ethnic groups. Whether it is six people in an elevator or six people in a car pool, you'd be hard put to find a group of random people who mirror the precise racial and ethnic composition of the US population.

Of the ten remaining Democrats hoping to become president, including the four who didn't qualify for the debate stage, there is quite a mixed demographic bag:

Three candidates are ethnically Jewish and one is Hindu. At least one had a Jewish father and a Christian mother. At least two candidates don't profess to be observant of any religion. Some are presumably Christians. Three of the remaining ten are women. Two women will be on the debate stage. One is Asian. One candidate is African-American. One candidate is of mixed ethnicity, including Asian, Polynesian, and Caucasian descent. Three are entrepreneur/business people. Six hold elective office. Two formerly held elective office. One is gay. Three are septuagenarians. Two candidates would be the oldest ever elected president, two would be the youngest ever elected president. Some candidates have Ivy League educations, some attended state colleges. The candidates come from different parts of America. In other words, the Democratic presidential candidates are as diverse as any randomly selected group of Americans.

The remaining candidates became the remaining candidates as a result of national and state polling of scientifically randomized cross-sections of Americans. As it stands, current polls show that African-American voters have a strong preference for Joe Biden, a white man. By a large percent, young people are attracted to Bernie Sanders the oldest candidate and Elizabeth Warren the oldest female candidate. Andrew Yang's support isn't limited to Asian-Americans. Heterosexuals support Pete Buttigieg, a gay man. Yang, Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg's supporters are not all rich. Religion and geographic origin is a non-issue with most voters. Some women support male candidates and some men support female candidates.

It is to America's credit that we are not tribal, provincial and parochial in which candidates we support.

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