Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has officially dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, but that doesn’t mean her ambitious campaign goals will be put on the back burner. In a tweet, the former candidate said: “I want to be clear: although I am no longer running for President, I will do everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are. I know you will too. So let’s do that together.”
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.
But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
Once a strong contender, Harris has seen her numbers drop in the polls, especially after billionaire Mike Bloomberg decided to join the fray. During Thanksgiving week, she had been tied for fifth with the former New York City mayor, but this week she averaged only 3% of support while he doubled her at 6%.
On Dec. 3, Harris canceled a high-profile fundraiser in New York; many of her influential donors were scheduled to attend. The stated reason for cancellation was a “personal matter,” but, shortly after, the announcement of her candidate withdrawal became public. Some speculate that the drop in poll numbers isn’t the main influence for the decision after her campaign took quite a hit from a resignation letter by her state operations director that painted her as a bad boss.
In an email, Harris explained why she chose to drop out of the presidential race. Talking about how she has always promised to tell the truth, she said, “So here’s the truth today”:
“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.
“In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.
“So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”
Harris finished the third quarter well behind her Democratic contenders, at just over $11 million raised. Aside from dwindling funds, there may have been another reason: Her name was just about to be entered on the California primary ballot, and she didn’t want a crushing defeat recorded to dampen her Senate re-election prospects in a couple of years.
Some context: Harris only had a few days to get out before her name would appear on the California ballot, which gets mailed to voters in early February. Getting crushed in California would have been devastating, and set her up for a challenge in 2022 for her reelection.
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) December 3, 2019
Harris’ husband showed his support for his wife’s decision to end her campaign:
I’ve got you. As always.❤️ pic.twitter.com/5OJDT3cDfw
— Douglas Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) December 3, 2019
Her Democratic challengers were quick to give Harris praise.
South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet: “I am grateful for her leadership and the courage she brings to the Senate and the national debate. I know she will continue to fight fearlessly on behalf of the American people – and our democracy.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said: “My dear friend @KamalaHarris is a trailblazer. I’ve loved serving with her in the Senate and every moment we’ve run into one another on the trail. Her campaign broke barriers and did it with joy. Love you, sister.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he had “mixed emotions about it,” adding that Harris was a “solid person,” a “first-rate candidate,” and a “first-rate intellect.”
Of course, barely after Harris got out the word, the race-bashing began.
Kamala Harris officially ended her campaign today, which means that all of the candidates who currently qualify for the December Democratic debate are white (Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Steyer).
White supremacy is not just a Fox News problem, folks.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) December 3, 2019
At this point, the qualifiers for the December Democratic debate are white: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Steyer, Buttigieg, and Biden.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.