Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The California senator once looked like a strong contender and a successor to Barack Obama in vote-getting appeal. But her campaign was beset by problems and she was unable to raise enough donations to continue. (File Photo)

Mike Blake/Reuters

Kamala Harris suspended her presidential campaign on Tuesday, a stunning reversal of fortunes for a candidate once seen as star contender to take on Donald Trump and become the first African-American woman to win the White House.

A Democratic senator from California, Ms. Harris, 55, launched her bid to great fanfare in January, drawing a crowd of nearly 20,000 to her hometown of Oakland, Calif. But her campaign was riven with internal strife that spilled out publicly last week in several reports of widespread layoffs and low morale among her remaining staffers.

She saw her national support slide into the single digits – with some recent polls showing her trailing even former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race only a week ago. Her campaign raised less than US$12-million in the third quarter, well behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Story continues below advertisement

In a video statement to her supporters, Ms. Harris blamed her faltering campaign on a lack of money to compete with wealthy opponents – a reference to Mr. Bloomberg and California hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer, both with hefty self-financed campaigns.

“Here’s the deal guys, my campaign simply does not have the financial resources to continue,” she said. “I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”

Her decision is major blow to the Democratic race, where Ms. Harris was once seen as a successor to former president Barack Obama – a close political ally – with the potential to re-energize a party whose base is increasingly made up of non-white and female voters.

The mixed-race daughter of immigrant academics, Ms. Harris picked up some French while spending her high-school years in Montreal, where her mother conducted cancer research at McGill University. Her campaign started with strong polling numbers, a large fundraising haul and a solid performance in early televised debates.

But Ms. Harris was soon criticized for lacking a consistent strategy on how to target early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, along with her home state of California. She changed her stands on issues such as universal health care and climate change policy, and faced concerns that she had not been able to define herself ideologically within a Democratic Party split between moderates and progressives.

While Ms. Harris pointed toward fundraising struggles, some of her supporters blamed the failure of her campaign on sexism and racism, raising questions about the future of the Democratic race, which now features a slate of white and predominantly male front-runnners.

“We can’t tell the story about Kamala Harris 2020 without speaking of sexism, ‘misogynoir’ and big money in politics,” said Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who chairs the women’s caucus of the California Democrats.

Story continues below advertisement

Julian Castro, a former Obama administration official running against Ms. Harris, blamed her fall on critical media coverage that “held her to a different standard, a double standard [that] has been grossly unfair and unfortunate.”

Competitors in the Democratic primary praised Ms. Harris even as some sought to use her announcement to boost their own campaign. Former vice-president Joe Biden, who sparred publicly with Ms. Harris on issues of race, said he had “mixed emotions” about the end of her candidacy, calling Ms. Harris "a first-rate candidate.” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren cast herself as someone who can stop the sort of big-money politics that forced Ms. Harris out. “Kamala is right – our system is deeply broken when billionaires can buy their way in. I’ll fight with you to make sure our government works for all of us,” she wrote on Twitter.

Polls show Ms. Harris’s supporters are likely to shift toward either Ms. Warren or Mr. Biden – boosting momentum for the two leading candidates heading into primaries in February, while raising questions about how the party can appeal to diverse voters. “You’re going to see pressure on these candidates to speak to the issues that matter to African-American voters, Latino voters, to Asian voters,” said Jason McDaniel, a political scientist at San Francisco State University. “But this is not the voters in the Democratic Party saying we don’t like candidates of colour.”

Ms. Harris’s announcement comes only weeks ahead of a Democratic debate in Los Angeles, for which she had already qualified. But analysts say that by dropping out early, Ms. Harris likely made a calculated choice to preserve her reputation and avoid a poor showing in her home state, where she was polling in fourth place. Her endorsement now could help the eventual Democratic nominee, paving the way for Ms. Harris to become a pick for vice-president or U.S. attorney-general. “She will be in all of those conversations,” Mr. McDaniel said.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies