Kamala Harris is ending her presidential campaign, marking a stunning early exit for the California senator who was once considered to be in the top tier of the Democratic field. She informed staff today that she is suspending her campaign, according to an aide.
"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," Harris wrote in a Medium post to supporters. "My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue."
Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, launched her campaign before a crowd of some 20,000 people in Oakland in January. She rocketed in polls over the summer after she confronted former vice president Joe Biden over the issue of race at the first Democratic debate, one of the most memorable moments of the campaign so far.
But Harris failed to turn those attention-grabbing moments into sustained support for her candidacy. Her campaign spent much of its time searching for an identity; she seesawed between self-defining as a progressive and a moderate. The campaign frequently changed its central message and could not decide whether to emphasize her past as a prosecutor, which had drawn criticism from some progressive circles, or downplay it.
News stories also highlighted the campaign's muddled leadership, including a struggle for power between Maya Harris, Harris's sister, and her longtime advisors in California, including her campaign manager.
On the campaign trail and in national debates, Harris was frequently uneven. At times she came across as a tough, sharp prosecutor that many Democrats wanted to see take on President Donald Trump on the debate stage. But she could also be vague, backtracking on key policy positions — most notably by changing her stance on Medicare for All — and often resorting to repeating stock phrases.
In recent months, Harris failed to raise money from donors and maintain her frontrunner status, laying off staffers and announcing a series of new strategies designed to restart the campaign.
Harris announced she was planning to focus heavily on Iowa, the country's first caucus state, only to slip even further in polls there. She had spent Thanksgiving in Iowa with her family only days before dropping out of the race.
The news was first reported by the Atlantic.