Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dismissed on Monday Representative James Clyburn’s (D., S.C.) claim that Pete Buttigieg’s homosexuality is a problem for older black voters.
“That’s just nonsense,” Harris told CNN. “To label one community in particular as being burdened by this bias as compared to others is misinformed, it’s misdirected and it’s just simply wrong.”
Clyburn told CNN last week that the South Bend, Ind. mayor’s homosexuality was a hurdle for his campaign in South Carolina, which has a large African American population.
“It is [an issue], there’s no question about that” Clyburn said. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you otherwise because I think everybody knows that’s an issue.”
As of 2018, 47 percent of African Americans believed same-sex marriage to be “always wrong” compared to 27 percent of white respondents, according to data from the General Social Survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Buttigieg, responding to Clyburn in a Monday CNN interview, said the residents of his city had elected him despite their “socially conservative” political stances.
“It is remarkable how Americans are capable of moving past old habit, moving past old prejudices, making history, and getting the president that will serve them best regardless of the other noise that’s circling around the race,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg is in the midst of a polling surge in the state of Iowa, where he ranks in third place among Democratic presidential candidates according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday.
Meanwhile, Harris’s campaign has fallen sharply in the polls. The senator is currently polling at about three percent of the prospective vote in Iowa and 3.6 percent nationally according to RealClearPolitics.