Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a town hall for the American Federation of Teachers in Detroit, Monday, May 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
That Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign is in trouble is not exactly breaking news. It’s been in a dramatic freefall for months, and has lost crucial support from two essential Democratic voting blocs: female voters and black voters.
In addition to that, she’s performing extremely poorly in Iowa, where she’s poured a significant amount of resources in hopes of pulling off an upset in February during the caucuses. Even more troubling for Harris is how her presidential campaign has struggled to gain traction … in her home state.
With all that in mind and more, Politico talked to some California Democratic political operatives this weekend during their state convention who have started asking whether Harris should go ahead and exit the field gracefully:
… many privately expressed the view that Harris should begin seriously considering leaving the race to avoid total embarrassment in the state’s early March primary. Her continued weakness in the presidential contest could even have a more damaging effect, several said — encouraging a primary challenger in 2022, when Harris is up for reelection.
“I don’t think she can last until California,’’ says Garry South, a veteran strategist who has advised [CA Governor Gavin] Newsom and former presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. “I don’t wish her ill, but she’s got a decision to make: you limp in here and get killed in your home state, and it damages your reputation nationally. Or you pull out before the primary like Jerry Brown did in 1980 … and you at least avoid the spectacle of being decisively rejected.”
Interviews with a half-dozen veteran Democratic campaign insiders at the convention who spoke on condition of anonymity — many out of fear of angering a sitting senator — echoed South’s view.
Harris has qualified for both the November and December Democratic debates, so it’s highly unlikely she’ll drop out before then unless she just no longer has the campaign resources to go on.
But one thing to watch about the upcoming debate in Georgia this Wednesday is that Harris nemesis Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) will also share the same stage as Harris and the other candidates who qualified. Gabbard has been on a mission since Hillary Clinton accused her, without evidence, of being a “Russian asset” to set the record straight, but a Kamala Harris surrogate was actually floating the
smear idea before Hillary did.
If Gabbard takes the opportunity to confront Harris about it, it could wipe out what hope Harris had left – considering what happened the last time the Hawaii congresswoman exposed her on a debate stage.
As they say, stay tuned!
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –