While polling of the general election is historically irrelevant at this point, Democrat primary candidates are currently competing in a much different arena. The Iowa caucuses are approaching and the first debates are only two weeks away. Things are about to heat up and whoever gains early momentum will have a large advantage down the stretch.
One of the 2020 lot currently in this dogfight is Sen. Kamala Harris. She burst onto the scene early in the race to much fanfare and a large launch ceremony. Since then, her star has faded and she’s now struggling just to get time in front of the cameras.
Her campaign is now getting some even worse news.
Going into the 2020 Democratic nomination contest, experts predicted that the relatively early primary in the huge state of California would provide a big boost to Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential ambitions, but a new poll finds that if the race were held today, she wouldn’t even qualify for statewide delegates.
The survey from the Los Angeles Times/UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found a wide-open race in California, with Joe Biden leading the pack with 22% among likely Democratic voters, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 18%, Sen. Bernie Sanders at 17%, Harris at 13%, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10%.
That 13% is good enough to put her in fourth place. While double digits may seem respectable, this is her home state. If she can’t even qualify for delegates in the place she is supposed to be the most popular, that bodes horribly for her prospects in other states. California is also the largest prize in the Democrat primary and not getting a large chunk of its spoils would put her in a huge hole.
If she actually does that badly in California, it would be the end of her campaign. There would be no justification for going forward if the people who know her best don’t even support her. While this isn’t true in a general election (Trump obviously lost New York, for example), primaries are a different animal. You aren’t dealing with the normal partisan splits of blue and red states but a largely homogeneous landscape.
Harris’ struggles have surprised the political establishment. She checks all the right boxes from an inter-sectional standpoint and no doubt she assumed that would elevate her above figures like Biden and Sanders. Her politics are in the right place for the left-wing but her history in the criminal justice system (even though it’s far from good in the normal sense) has upset many liberals. Even deciding to enforce the law sometimes as a prosecutor is too much for a large percentage of the Democrat base.
There’s also the fact that Harris is an empty suit. She’s been in the Senate for all of five minutes, attempting to follow the same path as Barack Obama. Her rise to prominence is also littered with self-dealing and scandal. She had an affair with Willie Brown, then the Mayor of San Francisco. Harris was appointed to two state commissions during this time, although she laughably claims the affair had nothing to do with it.
Now, she’s facing headwinds she simply didn’t expect. If the numbers in California don’t turn around during the coming debate season, her campaign may be over before we even get to the second round of state votes.
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