Speculation is not journalism.
But CNN scribes Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten today pulled out their crystal ball and deemed California Senator Kamala Harris Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination.
Harris was ranked number one among ten possible presidential contenders, with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren placing second and Joe Biden third.
The CNN pundits said that the midterm election results show that a youngish woman of color has the best chance to appeal to Democratic voters. Harris, who has declined to say if she is running but just inked a book deal that many speculated was the harbinger of a presidential campaign, is the daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother.
Cillizza and Enten argued that, “If there’s one lesson Democrats should learn from the 2018 election, it’s this: Their base wants to make history.”
“Democratic voters helped elect a historic number of women to Congress. They elected the first Muslim-American women — one in Minnesota and another in Michigan. They voted in the first Native-American women — in New Mexico and Kansas.”
According to Enten and Cillizza, a former Washington Post writer, “Everywhere you looked on the map last Tuesday night, Democratic voters were backing women—and oftentimes women of color.”
“Starting to get a sense for where we’re headed here? We’ve always ranked Harris highly in these rankings — due to the importance of California within the broader Democratic Party and the number of major donors in the state who would gladly help fund Harris’ national ambitions”
Last month, the duo ranked Harris second to Warren, writing that “despite her relative newness on the national stage, [Harris] is already something of a known 2020 commodity.”
But now that the election results are in, they surmised “that Harris seems to be exactly what Democratic voters are telling the party and its politicians they want representing them going forward. A young-ish — she’s 54 — non-white woman, Harris looks like the Democratic Party base these days. And if 2020 is anything like 2018, that’s a very good place for her to be.”
Explaining the number one ranking, the pundits wrote that, “Harris looks like the right fit for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary voter. She’ll be well-funded. She’s demonstrated her chops in high-profile tests—flashing her prosecutorial experience (she’s the former California attorney general) during the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. Harris has been seen as a 2020 candidate since the day she announced she was running for the Senate. It now not only looks like she will make those expectations come true, but that she will start the race in a very strong position.”
But UC San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser told the California Globe that the CNN pundits are reading way too much into the election results when they crown Harris the frontrunner. “There were so many different types of victories by different types of Democrats across the country that virtually any of the 2020 aspirants could claim this as a precedent for their success.”