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Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

Should Biden and Sanders Pick Female Running Mates?

Gettyimages | Win McNamee
By Robin Zabiegalski

Last week, women all over the country were saddened when Elizabeth Warren announced that she was ending her campaign for president. Like so many times before, the battle for the Democratic nomination has come down to two white men.

Warren's poor performance in the primaries seemed to indicate that the country isn't ready for a female President yet. But is the country ready for a female Vice-President? Many are saying that Biden and Sanders should choose female running mates. Here are some of the arguments for and against.

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The Pros of a Female Running Mate

Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar at a campaign event
Gettyimages | Ron Jenkins

Women voters, especially white women voters, make up a significant portion of the voters that make it to the polls. In the 2018 midterm elections, 55% of the voters who showed up to vote were women. And women are consistently more likely to vote than men.

Having a female running mate is a great way to appeal to female voters. It's also a great way for a male candidate to show that he's open to a female perspective within his administration. A female running mate is also a signal to female voters that issues they care about will be addressed by the ticket.

The Cons of A Female Running Mate

Sarah Palin and John McCain
Gettyimages | Darren Hauck

The big fear that most presidential candidates have about choosing a female running mate is that the ticket will be less electable because of the female running mate. Basically, they're worried that the sexism of the voters will come out at the polls.

Female politicians have a much more difficult time with likeability than their male counterparts. If the female running mate isn't likable, then it can hurt the overall ticket. The perfect example is what happened with Sarah Palin and John McCain in 2008.

Male candidates worry that picking a female running mate will hurt their chances in the general election, which is a big deal for the Democrats this year.

It Comes Down to Picking the Right Woman

Sarah Palin
Gettyimages | Kris Connor

Succeeding with a female running mate means choosing the right woman, which is a monumental task itself. The female running mate needs to align with the candidate enough so that their pairing makes sense to the candidate's base. She needs to have a base in her own right so she can bring in voters.

And most of all, she needs to have that indefinable something that makes her likable, which is by far the hardest challenge to overcome. Competent, capable, intelligent women are often deemed unlikable, especially when they're reaching for positions of power.

So, is there a perfect pick for a female running mate? In this election cycle, there just may be.

Who Should They Pick?

Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle

There were several female candidates in the Democratic race this year. Two of them - Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar - stuck it out as long as they could, longer than many of the other candidates. So, the country is already familiar with both of these candidates and what they can bring to the table.

Klobuchar has already endorsed Biden, and she even sparked rumors that she might be Biden's VP pick when she almost said that she was joining the ticket when speaking to a group of supporters. Klobuchar's policies weren't too far off from Biden and she didn't create too many waves during the primary, so she'd actually be a great pick for Biden.

Since Warren dropped out, Sanders supporters and Warren supporters alike have been begging for a Sanders/Warren ticket. As the only two progressive candidates in the race, they fought for a lot of the same policies. Warren struggles with a likability issue that took down her own campaign, but her base combined with Sanders's could be enough to snag them the nomination and the general election, rather than splitting their base.

Is this year finally the year for the first-ever female VP? We can hope.

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