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Adapted from MRG Research, margin of error ±3.5 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

A group commissioned a poll in two Midwestern swing states to test the viability of women of color to be Joe Biden's vice presidential pick and found Stacey Abrams as the top choice for black voters — but Elizabeth Warren as the overall candidate to beat.

Details: Kamala Harris was the only candidate of color to break the top three for overall support, along with Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Warren, in this survey of Michigan and Wisconsin voters conducted for Donors of Color Action and reviewed by Axios.

  • But Warren reflected the most consistent support among white and black voters in both states.

Why it matters: This is one of the only publicly disclosed polls surveying likely voters on specific VP candidates at the same time Biden's campaign is forming a committee to vet women on his shortlist. It offers some early insights into how voters in two battleground states are feeling about the 2020 ticket.

  • Donors of Color Action is part of the Donors of Color Network, a community of high-net-worth donors that launched in March 2019.
  • The group commissioned MRG Research to conduct the study, which was intended to explore the viability of a woman of color as Biden's VP pick with voters in Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • The group asked likely Democratic and independent voters about eight prospective VP picks: Sens. Warren, Harris, Klobuchar, Catherine Cortez Masto and Tammy Duckworth; former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; and Florida congresswoman Val Demings.

The big picture: Democrats are focused on the electoral college after losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump, including losses by less than a percentage point each in Michigan and Wisconsin.

  • Conversations about race and gender, and how those factors play into Democrats' ability to beat Trump in November, persisted throughout the 2020 primary — including whether it would take a white man to win over voters in the Midwest.
  • The memo for Donors of Color points out the differences in how black voters view these potential VPs relative to voters overall.
  • "We think it's clear that a ticket that mobilizes and excites the broadest coalition of voters will help Democrats take back the White House," Ashindi Maxton, co-director of Donors of Color Action, told Axios in a statement.

By the numbers: Black voters in Michigan and Wisconsin picked Abrams as their favorite hypothetical running mate for Biden, at 36% and 38%, respectively.

  • While Klobuchar is popular among voters overall in these states, she got just 12% support from black voters in Michigan and 20% from black voters in Wisconsin.
  • Harris underperformed with black voters in Michigan (22%) relative to her overall support in these two states, and she did 10 percentage points better with black voters in Wisconsin.
  • Warren earned the most consistent support among the group, in the low 30s among black voters in both states.
  • Abrams’ performance without being a sitting senator or having just run for president, shows potential to build a broad coalition and turn out voters.

Methodology: MRG Research surveyed registered voters in Michigan and Wisconsin between March 23 - April 5, 2020. Sample sizes: Michigan = 798 (margin of error +/- 3.5 percentage points); Wisconsin = 842 (margin of error +/- 3.4 percentage points).

Go deeper

More corporations are requiring workers to get vaccinated

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Life for the unvaccinated could get more difficult as bosses increasingly move to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The big picture: The federal Government in May said that it is legal for companies to require employees to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

White House: Over 500,000 new shots recorded Friday, highest since July 1

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The United States recorded more than half a million new COVID-19 vaccine shots on Friday, the highest number since July 1, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Why it matters: The Delta variant is continuing to spread across the United States and it now comprises over 80% of the coronavirus cases in the country, Jean-Pierre said. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that "vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death."

Biden to announce sanctions, other efforts to address crisis in Cuba amid protests

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will announce sanctions against one entity and two Cuban individuals this afternoon and provide details on his administration's efforts to improve internet connectivity in Cuba, a senior administration official said Friday.

Why it matters: After initially hoping to place the issue on the back burner, the White House has recently ramped up its focus on Cuba amid protests on the island and in the United States, congressional backlash and political pressure from the South Florida Cuban community.

  • The president is also expected to make announcements on remittances and plans for U.S. embassy augmentation, the official said.
  • The official noted that the administration is in talks with private sector providers about the possibility of providing wireless LTE communications to the Cuban people.
  • "Given the protest of July 11, it is important for U.S. diplomats to engage directly with the Cuban people and if we can do that in a way that ensures the safety of U.S. personnel, that is something that we will undertake," he said, noting that the president would announce more details later this afternoon.

The details: The president will meet today with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a Cuban-American, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), among other political and community leaders and artists.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an outspoken voice on Cuban issues, is not expected to attend the meeting.
  • The meeting follows a series of engagements by Cedric Richmond and the Office of Public Engagement with the Cuban-American community, the official said.

What they're saying: "We're gonna do everything we can to keep Cuba on the front burner, so we can keep the conversation on the rights of the Cuban people and their rights to manifest peacefully," the official said on the call with reporters.

Be smart: Cuba is a tricky political issue for Democrats, who are split on the matter. The president was defeated by Donald Trump in South Florida during the 2020 election, and Democrats fear similar results, particularly in the upcoming midterms, if they mishandle the situation.

Go deeper: The newly announced sanctions today will follow already imposed sanctions against Cuban officials and entities allegedly responsible for human rights abuses during the government's crackdown on island-wide protests earlier this month.