Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Tuesday acknowledged that her presidential campaign no longer had the resources it needed to stay afloat and said that unlike some of the Democratic primary field’s billionaire candidates, she could not afford to self-fund her White House bid.
In a lengthy email to supporters, Harris announced that she was ending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination amid mounting fundraising and financial challenges.
“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 the email. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
She also appeared to take a shot at the billionaire candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, who have largely self-funded their presidential bids and have consequently outspent the rest of the field in advertising.
“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,” Harris wrote. “In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.”
Harris’s decision to end her campaign came after months of decline for her White House prospects.
After a surge of momentum following the first Democratic primary debate in June, the California senator’s polling numbers and fundraising largely stalled out. Unlike her top-tier rivals, Harris’s fundraising remained largely stagnant — hovering between $13.2 million in the first quarter of the year and $11.8 million in the third.
Meanwhile, her campaign faced internal disarray and organizational challenges that worsened in recent weeks. In late October, her campaign began a reorganization, cutting dozens of staffers in her Baltimore headquarters and redeploying others to Iowa in a bid to strengthen her position in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
By November, she had closed her field offices in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a presidential primary.
In dropping out of the race in early December, Harris will ensure that her name will not appear on the ballot in California. That saves her from having to face a potentially poor showing in her home state that could encourage primary challengers when she defends her Senate seat in 2022.
In her email, Harris said that she would remain active in the 2020 cycle despite her decision to drop out of the presidential race.
“I want to be clear,” she wrote, “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.”