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

White House hopeful Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Democratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance MORE (D-Calif.) dismissed concerns about former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE’s significant polling lead among black primary voters, saying he is benefiting 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 presidential primary debates.


“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.