Kamala Harris & Women

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Female Engagement, Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has proposed to introduce a new maternal care act if she is elected as the president, to engage with the mothers in the United States between the age of 26 and 44 years. She supports abortion and the reproductive rights of women, to engage with women in their twenties. She continues to have direct interactions with young girls and also encourages young achievers through her social media posts.

Research methodology

We began our research by examining news reports and the social media activities of Kamal Harris after January 21st, 2019, following her declaration of candidacy for the United States presidential elections. This search attempt revealed important and relevant information regarding the measurements Kamala Harris has taken to engage women of all ages. We found data on how she has appointed mostly colored women as the senior staffers of her campaign, her continued vocal support to end gun violence, her stand for protecting the reproductive rights of women, her continual concern expressed towards maternal health and maternity problems of black women, and her support to young girls and women who have made contributions to make the voices of women heard.

In order to identify the age group of women to whom the proclamations of Kamala Harris appeal the most, we looked into sources which typically publishes statistical data and demographic profiles. For example, in order to find out which age group she addresses through her stand on maternal health, we looked for the average age span of mothers in the United States. Similarly, in order to identify which age group she addresses through her very vocal position on abortion, we searched for the age group with the highest abortion rates in the United States. Further, we also looked for the speeches of Kamala Harris after her declaration of candidacy.

WOMEN OF ALL AGE GROUPS

On the same week of January, Kamala Harris announced her presidential candidacy as Shirley Chisholm, a congresswoman from New York who was the first woman to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party as president 47 years ago. This gesture shows her sense of solidarity with women. Kamala Harris repeatedly emphasizes her promise to bring gun control laws to end gun violence. Since women and children are the common victims of gun violence in America, this promise mainly draws the votes of women. On April 24, 2019, Kamala Harris also tweeted that "nearly 1 million women in the U.S. alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner. We’ve had too many tragedies for addressing gun violence to not be a priority".

Speaking of the federal minimum wages in America, on April 24, 2019, Kamala Harris addressed the problem of minimum wages in her tweet, adding that women are more significantly impacted by this, as the majority of minimum wage employees are women.
Kamala Harris has decided to entrust colored women to run her campaign. Of the top 19 workers in her campaign, half are colored women. On April 16, 2019, Kamala Harris declared her support to Christine Blasey Ford, a survivor of sexual violence and a victim of social abuse, following her testimony of being sexually assaulted by the US Supreme Court's current Associate Justice. On April 5, 2019, Kamala Harris said she was open to choosing a woman as her running mate. Kamala Harris sharply criticized Vice President Mike Pence for saying that he "never eats alone with a woman other than his wife" and called the statement "outrageous".
During her speech in Oakland on January 27, 2019, Kamala Harris endorsed her commitment to women's rights and stated that she wanted to build America to be a place where women are respected in their homes and workspaces.

MOTHERS (26 YEARS — 44 YEARS)

The twitter post of Kamala Harris promises to implement a new "Maternal CARE Act". The average age of first-time mothers in the United States is 26, and the maximum age of motherhood is assumed to be 44. Therefore, the promise addresses women between the age of 26 and 44. On April 16, 2018, Kamala Harris tweeted that the United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths where the majority of them are black women. On April 14, 2019, Kamala Harris tweeted that the nation should address the maternal health crisis faced by black women.

YOUNG GIRLS

A video on Kamala Harris' Twitter handle posted on April 26, 2019, talks about public speaking to tweenagers and gives them tips on how to become a good public speaker. This video demonstrates her ability and effort to actively engage with young girls. This video has 3,83,000 views as of April 30, 2019.
On April 16, 2019, Kamala Harris tweeted on teen dating violence and recalled that her office had worked with 'domestic violence' organizations to solve the issue. On April 10, 2019, Kamala Harris tweeted to congratulate Katie Bouman who contributed in the development of a new method of imagery through a unique algorithm which helped scientists to capture the first ever picture of black holes.
When the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution protects a woman's right to have an abortion, Kamala Harris tweeted, "The government shouldn't interfere in women's health care. Good news from Kansas". 60% of women who undergo abortion in the United States are in their 20s. Therefore, the tweet addresses women in their 20s, mainly. On April 13, 2019, Kamala Harris tweeted in support of abortion and women's reproductive rights.
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Kamala Harris, Women's Perceptions

In the 2020 electoral season, which has already begun, women will make up around 60% of the primary and caucus electorate across the country. Women are looking for a candidate that will solve issues that are dearest to them, including pay equity, reproductive rights, human trafficking, childcare accessibility, and prenatal and maternal health care accessibility. Influential women of color picked humane immigration, criminal justice reform, Medicare-for-All, protecting voter rights, and gun control as their top issues, and these same women favored Kamala Harris as their favorite candidate for 2020 by a factor of 71.1% in a poll conducted a month before she announced her candidacy. We discuss how Kamala Harris is viewed among women across the country, using data from very recent polls conducted by influential pollsters such as Quinnipiac, Monmouth, Politico, and Reuters. The Quinnipiac poll, which discusses how Harris is viewed in her home state, doesn’t break down women statistics by age, but it does provide age breakdown for all genders together. With this data, and assuming the statistics from age breakdown shouldn’t be much different between genders, we have decided to use these numbers as a proxy for statistics for women voters alone. In these cases, we state the numbers as approximate rather than as is. Numbers from the Reuters poll, however, are reported as is.

CALIFORNIA

In her home state of California, 40% of Californian women believe that she’ll be a good president, compared to 31% who say she won’t. 15% of Democrat and Democrat-leaning women believe that Harris would be the best leader. When we break that down by age, we see approximately 12% of women who are 18-49 years of age, approximately 17% who are 50-64 years old, and approximately 12% who are 65 and older. 15% of Democrat and Democrat-leaning women believe that Harris has the best policy ideas. When we break that down by age, we see approximately 13% of 18-49 year-olds, approximately 8% of 50-64 year-olds, and approximately 10% of women 65 and older. Coincidentally, 53% of women believe that a great leader is more important than one with great policy, which works out for Harris either way, as she is just about tied when women view how much of a good leader she’ll be and how good her policies are.

When it comes to how much faith women have that she will win the 2020 election, only 10% of Democrat and Democrat-leaning women believe that she has the best chance. When we break that down by age, we see approximately 8% of 18-49-year-old women, approximately 12% of women aged 50-64, and 9% of women aged 65 and up.

IOWA

In the Monmouth Iowa Survey, a survey in arguably the most important Democratic primary race in the country, in a state which often predicts the Democratic winner, 7% of women say they would side with Kamala Harris if the Democratic Caucuses were held today. Out of that number, there are approximately 11% of 18-49-year-old women, approximately 2% of 50-64-year-old women, and approximately 5% of 65-year-old women and older. In that same survey, 61% of women have a favorable opinion of Senator Harris, while 18% have no opinion.

NATIONAL

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, 8.4% of Americans say they would pick Kamala Harris as their preferred Democratic candidate, and 60% of those respondents are women. Interestingly, most of her women supporters are white, at 38%, while nonwhite women are least likely to have heard of Harris. Even though many nonwhite women have never heard of Harris, 84% hold her in a favorable light compared to just 16% unfavorable.

In the Quinnipiac national survey of Democrat and Democrat-leaning respondents released on March 28th, 11% of women would vote for Senator Harris if their Democratic primary was held today. When broken down by age, we see 9% of those aged 18-49, and 7% of those aged 50 and above. 36% of women prefer their presidential candidate to be younger, while 38% think age doesn’t matter, which favors Senator Harris, as she is only 54, which is not seen as too young or too old. When it comes to the gender women prefer to be president, 32% prefer a woman win in 2020 while 56% believe it doesn’t matter. By age, approximately 30% of women between 18 and 49 prefer a woman president, while approximately 22% of women 50 and older prefer a women president. In terms of whether women prefer their candidate to be white or a person of color, 23% of women want their presidential candidate to be white and 68% say it doesn’t matter. When broken down by age, approximately 31% of women aged 18-49 say they want a presidential candidate of color while approximately 9% of women aged 50 and above say the same thing. Interestingly, it’s women aged 50 and older who say it doesn’t matter at all by a factor of approximately 80%, while younger women say it doesn’t matter by a factor of approximately 59%. This may play well for Kamala Harris, who is a black woman.

In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll released on April 9th, 53.5% of women view Harris favorably while 46.5% view her unfavorably. 54% of women ages 18-34 say they view her favorably, 50% of women 35-49 years of age say the same, 55% of women ages 50-65 view her favorably, and 51.8% of women 65 and older agree.

CONCLUSION

Even though Senator Harris ranks around fourth in the national standings, and even falls behind Biden and Sanders in her own state, Senator Harris will do well with women as most women of various age groups view her favorably. In fact, she is seen as the most likely female candidate to win the presidency. She seems to be doing well as it relates to women in her age range (50+), so her campaign will be expected to target younger voters much more in the near future.
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Media Perceptions, Kamala Harris & Women

In general, the mainstream media does not believe that Kamala Harris has fully engaged women voters. Her history as a District Attorney in San Francisco and Attorney General of California has left her with a record of actions that cause concern to progressives and women of color.

Media’s Perception of Kamala Harris’ Engagement with Women

We have found three articles that feature Kamala Harris’ engagement with women. Overall, many of these articles show that her engagement with women is not all that positive. Additionally, most of the concerns about her seem to center on her time as a prosecutor in California.

In summary, the media believes that Kamala Harris has not successfully connected with female voters, especially women of color. Interviewees who chose not to criticize her still chose to defend her negative decisions, and not speak of the positive aspects.

Will Kamala Harris Have the Support of Black Women? Do not Assume that

This article features Kamala Harris and her support toward policies that have contributed to “a broken justice system.” The article recalls about Harris’ time as a prosecutor in California, and how during this time she had supported policies that caused harm towards people of color. The author of the article stated that she had supported policies that contributed to harming low-income people, such as the policy to jail a truant’s parents for one year. The article also included the time that she had supported a prosecutor who had committed “outrageous government misconduct” by falsifying a confession. However, these negative factors about Kamala Harris’ time as a prosecutor in California did not affect the excitement about her presidency, as she would be the first African woman president of the country.

The author of this article, Shanita Hubbard, argued that many women of color would vote for Harris. However, the author of the article concludes that being a woman of color is not enough for Kamala Harris and insists that she must create a political platform to address the existing systemic inequality within the country, to atone for her previous mistakes towards the minority. She must act and prove that she is a robust choice as president because being a woman is not enough to gain votes.

Can KamAla Harris Flunk the Perfection Test and still Win the Nomination?

The author of this article speaks about Kamala Harris’ decisions that hurt the stance of the minority. One of these decisions included the time when she appealed against a federal judge and his ruling for the death penalty as being unconstitutional. Another decision by Harris that hurt the stance of the minority was choosing to decline a “position on Proposition 47.” This was a ballot initiative accepted by voters, that minimized a couple of low-level felonies to mere misdemeanors. Furthermore, in 2015, Harris refused to support the bill to investigate individual shootings that involved police officers. She also declined to support a statewide standard that mandated all police officers to wear body-worn cameras. The author states that the decisions she made had certainly damaged her position towards the minority. However, Lateefah Simon, a civil rights activist who worked for Harris, has proven otherwise.

Simon stated that Harris pioneered job training for individuals who have committed non-violent crimes for the first time. Simon further stated that the training provided had helped many young people to convert their crack offenses to jobs. It also helped them gain proper housing and healthcare. While Harris did not support the regulation to make police officers wear body-worn cameras, Simon revealed that Harris still had chosen to make her officers wear cameras. Simon also argued that although Harris did not support the investigation of shootings that involved police officers, she demanded that the data on the investigation should be made public to hold the officers accountable. Simon also stated that Harris fought for the victims of sexual assault and for those who were hurt by the “Great Recession’s foreclosure crisis.”

The article also talked about Harris’ tough position when it comes to prosecuting, stating that she had to balance demands and expectations that were considered difficult, even for white politicians. Furthermore, the article mentioned that Harris had experienced hostility from police unions and law & order types in her state, simply because she was a woman of color. Overall, the article presented a balanced viewpoint of women’s perception of Kamala Harris.

The Two Faces of Kamala Harris

It is known that the rise of Kamala Harris had sparked intense debates among liberals. The media believes that there are a substantial number of women who oppose Kamala Harris, and some of these women come from the far-left of the political spectrum. There are also supporters of Bernie Sanders, such as the National Nurses United executive director, Rose Ann DeMoro, who oppose Kamala Harris’ candidacy. Furthermore, Phelicia Jones, a former Harris supporter and the current organizer of the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition, stated her opposition against Kamala Harris because she believed that Harris forgot the people who had supported her rise to power.

The author of the article believes that it is not hard to find people who criticize Harris’ record. The author further stated that most of the people who criticize Harris' record are women of color. Some of her supporters argue that people should not use the past to dictate her performance in the future. However, the author of the article insisted that such an idea is ludicrous, especially for people who consider themselves as journalists. The author further noted that anyone who chooses to support Harris must know of her record and understand it because even though she had made some questionable choices, she had done some reasonable ones as well.
Sources
Sources