At the beginning of the summer, Kamala Harris seemed to be one of the strongest candidates running for president. She had an amazing performance in the June debate that created a lot of buzz for her candidacy and her fundraising seemed to be going strong. She has already qualified for the December Democratic Debate. Why did she just drop out today while other candidates that seem to not be doing as well are still in this race?
The ultimate answer lies in the difference between a primary and a general election candidate. To win a primary one needs to have a strong message, and a way to distinguish oneself from the pack. Harris distinguished herself a great deal at the beginning of the summer and her numbers showed that. But as soon as she was questioned about her own opinions or her record as a prosecutor, she didn’t have an answer. Voters also couldn’t tell you what she was for or against. It was hard to put her in any category other than being anti-gun. But this campaign is not going to be decided strictly on gun regulation. It’s always going to hinge on economic and healthcare policy and I couldn’t tell you where she stood on those issues.
Harris’s campaign had a lot of problems as well. She has not been able to keep up her fundraising the way she should. The upper-level staff has also recently come out publicly saying she didn’t have a path to victory.
Lastly the impeachment issue. Kamala Harris is currently on the Senate, and while it seems as though the Democrats in the House are trying to have the Articles of Impeachment filed before Christmas, who knows how long the trial in the Senate will take, and Harris would be seen poorly for not participating in that trial.
Kamala Harris leaving the field should allow for the other candidates to shine. We will see what the December Debate brings us. It is time for the party to figure out what it stands for and pick a candidate.