Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race Tuesday after a series of missteps that have crippled her campaign.
Low poll numbers, staff layoffs in New Hampshire and her headquarters in Baltimore are noted among the reasons. However lack of money to fully finance a competitive campaign loomed large in her decision to withdraw from the race. She informed her staff she needed five million dollars to continue.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” Ms. Harris wrote. “But I want to be clear with you: I am still very much in this fight.”
In a sign of how challenging the lack of funding had become, aides shared that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have spent on advertising alone about twice what Harris had raised for her own bid since the beginning of the year.
Ms. Harris began as a top tier candidate and her departure as the only woman of color in what started as the most racially diverse ever in a Democratic primary, raises the prospect that this month’s debate in Los Angeles will feature no candidates who aren’t white.
Ms. Harris campaign began on Martin Luther King’s Birthday with a rousing speech in her hometown, Oakland, Calif., before an audience of 20,000 people, drawing comparisons to history-making Black politicians like Barack Obama and Shirley Chisholm.
But almost immediately after her campaign began, she faced questions about her policy core that resulted in damaging news cycles. She reversed her position on single-payer health care, removing herself from the “Medicare for all” bill sponsored by Mr. Sanders.
She struggled with how to frame her record as a prosecutor, oscillating between defending it against progressive criticism and embracing it in a play for more moderate voters.
In her announcement Tuesday, Ms. Harris reaffirmed her commitment to her campaign’s unifying ideals. She is likely to immediately become a top-tier option for the party’s vice-presidential nomination.
“Although I’m no longer running for president,” she said, “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.”
Mr. Biden, campaigning in Iowa called Ms. Harris “a first-rate intellect, first-rate candidate, real competitor.” He walked away when a reporter asked whether he would consider Ms. Harris as a running mate.
President Trump tweeted a farewell to Ms. Harris, saying, “We will miss you Kamala,” to which she replied: “Don’t worry, Mr. President. I’ll see you at your trial.’’