Sen. Kamala Harris is the latest—and thus far highest profile—Democrat to drop out of the party's 2020 presidential primary.
The California Democrat informed staffers in Iowa of her decision Tuesday morning and tweeted out the news in the afternoon.
"To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today," tweeted Harris, linking to a lengthy statement on Medium
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
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
According to HuffPost's Amanda Terkel:
The news came just as a super PAC reserved airtime in Iowa for an ad blitz, set to begin on Tuesday, meant to bolster the candidate. Harris' team had been upfront about its financial issues and had cut staff in New Hampshire in order to double down on the caucus state.
Harris leaves the race after failing to gain traction with voters. A momentary bump in the polls following a June debate performance in which she challenged former Vice President Joe Biden on his prior opposition to school bussing evaporated in early August after Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) took the California senator to task over her record as the state's attorney general.
That Harris' record as a prosecutor may have harmed her chances was, on balance, a good sign for the Democratic party, said researcher Natalie Shure.
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"The fact that Kamala Harris' record on criminal justice ended up being a deal breaker is actually a heartening development within the Democratic electorate, imo," tweeted Shure.
The Intercept's Ryan Grim opined that Harris might have been thinking about her political future.
"Getting crushed in California would have been devastating, and set her up for a challenge in 2022 for her reelection," said Grim.
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
As The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday, Harris leaving the race in December allows for California Democrat power brokers to coalesce around another candidate.
Harris' support in the state had steadily slipped, and she was the first choice of only 7% of the state’s Democratic primary voters, according to the poll, which was conducted Nov. 21-27. Judging by the second choices of her supporters, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the likely main beneficiaries of her withdrawal, at least in California, which holds its primary on March 3.
The news left Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at the centrist think tank Third Way, "stunned and disappointed."
Harris will reportedly release a video detailing her decision and next steps.