Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) ended her bid for the White House on Tuesday amid dropping poll numbers and reports of turmoil in her campaign.
“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,” Harris said in a statement. “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,” the California Democrat concluded.
The development comes after Harris canceled a Tuesday fundraiser at the Paul Weiss law firm in New York City over what her campaign described as a “personal matter,” reports CNBC. The event, which was expected to draw Wall Street investors Marc Lasry and Blair Effron, had not been rescheduled by the campaign.
In recent weeks, Harris’s campaign found itself at a crossroads.
The first woman and first black attorney general and senator in California’s history, the nascent Democrat launched her campaign before 20,000 supporters in Oakland. Despite kicking off her campaign on a high note, her failed path to the highest office in the land failed to generate support akin to top tier candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). On Monday, a Real Clear Politics average of polls showed her in a dismal sixth place with merely 3.4% of the Democrat primary vote, placing her behind billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As the picture of Harris’s poll numbers began to look bleak, so did her campaign’s finances.
While she managed to raise $11 million in the third quarter, the haul was dwarfed by those of Biden, Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Further, in the same quarter, Harris blew $14.6 million — leaving her with a $2.8 million spending gap. Her campaign also deferred roughly $900,000 in debts, an accounting trick that inflated her cash on hand. Harris’s overspending raised alarm bells inside her campaign, while prompting outsiders to wonder how long she would remain afloat.
A recent round of campaign layoffs and a bitter resignation letter leaked to the press raised more doubts about whether Harris’s campaign would go on for much longer. Former campaign operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher eviscerated her former colleagues in a series of interviews, revealing to the New York Times: “I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is celebrating Harris’s departure, taking to social media to credit 2020 White House contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) for the development. The Times reports that Harris campaign aides believe the California Democrat’s poor approval ratings were made worse by a pointed attack on her record as a prosecutor from Gabbard during a July primary debate. The newspaper said Harris’s donors were “alarmed” at Gabbard’s searing remarks and viewed her response to them as “insufficient,” a position her close aides shared.