The pumped-up demeanor of the California senator was backed by a powerful new endorsement by the emblematic United Farm Workers Union. Still, much of the buzz this weekend among delegate activists and guests gathered in Long Beach to hear from eight presidential candidates focused on her political future – and whether it might be time to step down from the race, and not to face potential humiliation in her home country of origin.
Following the grand launch of the campaign in January before 22,000 in her hometown of Oakland, Harris – once lauded as a top-tier contender – was pushed by low single digits in ballot boxes and reinforced by campaign reports marked by a failed strategy , messed up mess and team mess.
Harris's loyal activist, who calls himself K-Hive, has lost none of the passion and intensity of those early days. They chanted her name this weekend, brandished the "Kamala Harris for People" signs and expressed anger and frustration at the growing media coverage of her political demise.
Both early endorsers such as Governor Gavin Newsome and Lieutenant Eleni Kunalakis insisted that Harris remain a contender whose wealth is far from being determined in a constant race.
But in the halls and boardrooms of Long Beach Convention Center, many of the battle-marked Democratic insiders ̵
With studies in California that strongly suggest that she may not win, place, or even show – in her home state, many have suggested that Harris should start seriously considering leaving the race to avoid total disturbance in the paramount state in early March. Her continued weakness in the presidential contest may even have a more detrimental effect, according to some – promoting a primary challenger in 2022 when Harris is ready for re-election.
"I don't think she can make it to California," says Gary South, a veteran strategist who has consulted Newsom and former presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. "I don't want her to be bad, but she has a decision to make: you are limping here and killing yourself in your home, and that will damage your reputation nationally. Or withdraw before the primary like Jerry Brown in 1980 … and at least avoid the show being decisively rejected. "
Candidates have until the end of December to officially withdraw their names from the March 3 newsletter in California. However, some suggest that Harris may withdraw from the presidential contest after Iowa if he does poorly there – which would leave her on the California ballot but allow her to justify the sharp distraction of a distant California final by leaving the race week previously.
California beating "would hamper weakness … and could inspire a billionaire with visions," said South, perhaps a top business executive – or even a wealthy activist like Tom Steyer, whose own presidential bid is viewed as a longshot and who has played in the past with a candidacy for the US Senate.
Interviews with half a dozen Democratic veteran congressional insiders who speak on condition of anonymity – many for fear of angry sitting senator – echo South's view.
"This is not happening," said a leading grassroots organizer working at the campaign stage, not to mention attribution. "She has her chance [to leave the race] … she has to take it."
"Of course she has to get out … but who's to tell her?" Agreed one leading Democratic strategist who declined to speak on the record, Harris told California insiders she was determined to stay in race over Iowa, said the strategist, who added that the real concern was the reports of team members who apparently began sniping at each other and carrying anonymous blame in various media.
Labor organizer Erin Lehan said that Harris, who has been effective in recent days with his fierce response after the mass shooting in Santa Clarita, "must bring her back to DC and say – I don't leave until I run out of gun laws." are becoming a reality … she has to say that now that this has happened in my home country, this is where I will be. to Harris and said he was heading the campaign trail to assess the situation – and was determined to help.
"I'm going to Iowa, I'll check it first hand, "he said. Say this: Polls don't vote, people vote … and the only poll that matters is Election Day."
Recalling that these well-worn campaigns are perceived predominantly by candidates facing defeat, Newsom insists that the field remains viable – but he also acknowledged the uncertainty of Harris' path.
"Honestly … there really is no idea what is on earth and inertia," he said. "I live in a bubble with her because she's my friend … and we run around with all the volunteers and shirts [campaign] and feel good," he says. He recalled coming to a recent fundraiser for Harris and said, "She was calm, I thought she was doing great, she was feeling well."
"She is too talented to be fired – she is too capable, "he said. While the doors are hyper-focused on the race, voters are "not as focused as we believe they are … so I see a lot of movement and potential."
As she stood in the congress hall on Friday, wearing her nose buttoned Kamala Harris for People button, parole officer Denise Alvarez, a California military veteran, said he was undetermined by media reports and wanted Harris to fight to the very end.
"I like that she wants to provide everyone with healthcare, but she respects our alliances," Alvarez said. " She has the best plan … she takes care of people. "Alvarez rejected urns in key early states like Iowa, saying they were blown out of proportion." [campaign volunteers] they say it goes great. "
Kunalakis, Harris's overconfident supporter, also blames what she thinks is negatively reflective.
"I don't think the press reports are very fair," she said. "She has an incredible ship-style leader. We love her. to handle it. "
She added, hopefully," At the very least, it will be our state with enator for California for a long time. "
David Dawk, veteran Democrat pollster, who ran the presidential campaigns for Richard Gelfhard and Joe Biden, says that despite his talent, Harris has been cut short by missteps and failed to give her an effective basis is performed.
"Presidential politics is a combination of how many people like you and like what you say – measured in terms of viability," says Doke. "And her problem is that there are probably many who thought she would be a rocket – like me."
"But when you understand that these campaign stories aren't going well for you and you don't show people who have no choice in polls, they tend to stack up with other people," he says. "It's chicken and egg … if you don't have the viability, you don't get votes."
Dawk, who advised unsuccessful senior president Alan Cranston in 1984 for a presidential term, does not believe Harris has completely disappeared in the picture – now or in the future.
"Is she debt now? Yes, says Doak. "I don't think staying through Iowa will hurt her. And frankly, she's going to have to get out if she doesn't do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. "
But as for her future in the Senate, he said," these things are forgotten pretty quickly. "