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Sen. Kamala Harris: Biden has benefitted from “a high level of name recognition”

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California Senator Kamala Harris speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign on January 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
California Senator Kamala Harris speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign on January 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Harris on Biden’s strength with black voters: ‘A lot of that is based on name recognition’

Tal Axelrod

 

White House hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dismissed concerns about former Vice President Joe Biden’s significant polling lead among black primary voters, saying he has benefitted from “a high level of name recognition” and that she intends to press her case as the campaign moves forward.

“A lot of that is based on name recognition, and we’re still early in this campaign, and I’m very proud of the work that we have done,” Harris said on CNN Thursday morning, following the second Democratic 2020 primary debate.

“I am prepared to earn the vote and make my case. And when you have somebody that has been in office for decades, who was vice president under a very popular president, I would expect that people would know who he is and there would be a high level of name recognition as a result. But I am going to be out here competing.”

Biden, who has tied himself closely to his time as President Obama’s vice president, has had large leads in multiple polls of African Americans. A July Quinnipiac University national survey found that Biden had the support of 53 percent of black Democrats while Harris sat at 7 percent.

The California Democrat has worked to chip into that base of support, hitting Biden at June’s debates over his past opposition to federally mandated busing and comments regarding his ability to work with segregationist senators while in Congress. She renewed the attacks at Wednesday night’s debate.

Harris suggested she was not concerned with polling showing strong black support for Biden, saying she is seeing enthusiasm on the ground for her campaign.

“And I’ll tell you, if you judge it by who’s showing up and the kind of support we are getting on the ground, the endorsements we are receiving, I will tell you I am fully prepared and equipped to compete on a very serious level, and I intend to win this election,” she said Thursday.