Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has announced that she’s dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. The official word came less than an hour after news got out that Harris had told some staff she planned to end her campaign.
In a tweet, she confirmed the rumors were true, posting a message to Twitter to thank those who backed her bid and to assure supporters she’ll keep fighting for her values—whether she’s on the ballot in 2020 or not.
“To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today,” she wrote. “But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.”
When she entered the race several months ago, Harris was considered a frontrunner. The former attorney general of California, Harris is the second black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate and the sole black woman in the chamber now. She gained attention for her tough approach to questioning in confirmation hearings—with s standout performances questioning both Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his current attorney general, William Barr. Harris first announced her campaign on January 21—Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She would run for president, she said, to “stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”
But despite high enthusiasm for her campaign, she struggled to find both her audience and a financial foothold in the crowded field. The New York Times reports that Harris had written in an email on Tuesday that “she lacked the money needed to fully finance a competitive campaign.” Also, her prosecutorial record had alienated some voters, who couldn’t reconcile the fact that Harris had enforced policies that disproportionately affected black communities. Moreover, her poll numbers had dropped into the single digits and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg—a late entrant into the race, but also a billionaire—had pulled ahead in fifth place above her in recent weeks.
Still, some on Twitter pointed out that even though Harris’s numbers had been shrinking, she’s now out of the race while some white men with even lower standings have continued on.
“Kamala Harris dropped out of the 2020 race before Tom ‘Who?’ Steyer, John ‘Who?’ Delaney and Michael ‘Why?’ Bloomberg. That is…. telling,” HuffPost reporter Emma Gray noted.
“There’s something really wrong with a system where Kamala Harris can’t make it to Iowa and billionaires with no base and no message are just gliding through,” someone else added.
And while supporters applauded the historic nature of her run, several couldn’t help but highlight how sexism and racism—and the combination of the two, in Harris’s case—must have factored into her campaign.
Of course, this won’t be the last we hear from Harris. She’ll be an essential person to watch during the all-but-guaranteed impeachment hearings headed for the Senate, and her name has surfaced over and over as a potential vice president or attorney general.
In the meantime, friends, relatives, and supporters have rallied around her, with her husband sharing a loving shot of them together. “I’ve got you,” Doug Emhoff wrote. “As always.”