Why Kamala Harris Ended Her 2020 Presidential Campaign

Kamala Harris is no longer running for president.

The California senator ended her presidential bid today, marking the denouement of a high-profile candidacy that has since been marred by plummeting poll numbers and declining donations. She is the third candidate to drop out of the 2020 presidential race in December, following Joe Sestak and Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

The news comes as a surprise to many. Just hours before Harris officially made the announcement, a super PAC placed a new TV ad for her campaign that was set to air in Iowa on Wednesday. Still, financial trouble and internal disarray has been brewing for months: The campaign has been unable to buy a TV ad since September and has halted purchasing Facebook ads for two months, reported The New York Times.

When Harris announced her withdrawal this afternoon, she also shared an essay published on Medium, where she explained why she’s dropping out of the race.

“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” she wrote. “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.”

Although Harris’s candidacy has received buzzing media coverage since she first entered the 2020 race, her recent poll numbers have been lagging behind those of other candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg. Her campaign has consistently been unable to surpass single digits in most polls.

Harris also faced constant scrutiny for her record as a former prosecutor. Serving as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011, her office criminalized the parents of truant children and hid information that would have exonerated drug defendants. As Americans increasingly rebuke the “tough-on-crime” rhetoric, Harris backtracked on aspects of her prosecutorial record that received the most heat.

She attempted to reform her reputation as a tough prosecutor by campaigning on signature progressive issues, introducing plans to take on criminal justice reform, climate change, student loan debt, and more. Like the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates, Harris presented herself as a foil to President Trump.

As she wrote in her Medium essay, “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.”

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