The Daily Yonder notes that three Super Tuesday states—Minnesota, Colorado, and Oklahoma—have sizable American Indian populations that could affect the electoral outcomes. The article notes that, if we could just get past the identity politics and focus on real policies, we’d see that Oklahoma native, now Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, appears to pay the most attention to tribal issues:
Citizens of the three Cherokee Nations wrote a letter to Senator Warren asking her to renounce her claims of Cherokee and Delaware heritage. Despite this battle over identity politics, Warren has rolled out the most comprehensive tribal platform of all the presidential candidates and has done so with the endorsement of Representative Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) of New Mexico. Haaland is one of the two Native American women serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Warren’s plan digs into Indian Country’s most technical policy problems, such as fractionated land holdings, financing hurdles for tribal governments and criminal prosecution of non-native criminals on tribal lands. Warren has drafted the most supportive tribal policy platform in presidential campaign history, but it may not translate into Native votes in Oklahoma because of the complex issues surrounding her heritage [Maria Givens, “Analysis: Three Super Tuesday States to Watch for the Native Vote,” The Daily Yonder, 2020.03.02].
It’s a lot easier to whip up a tweet about DNA tests and name-calling than it is to dissect the complicated issues of Native sovereignty, land ownership, and government finance. But voters, Indian or otherwise, who are willing to focus on policy will find Senator Warren gives them the most to talk about.