Kamala Harris is ending her Democratic
presidential campaign. She was initially one of the favorites to take on Donald
Trump in the 2020 race. For more I want to bring in political commentator and
pollster Fernand Amandi. He hosts the ‘Strange Days’ podcast and is a lecturer
at the University of Miami’s political science department so, Fernand what’s
your initial reaction to that well the news? Andrew it’s really not surprising
when you look at the fact that Senator Harris’s poll numbers in both the early
primary States and at the national level have been gradually declining over the
last few months. She entered this race as you alluded to with a lot of fanfare,
very high expectations and at one point looked to be the odds-on favorite to win
especially after a very powerful early debate performance in June of this year
but as we see throughout these campaigns for the presidency, they rely on money
and they rely on support, and she was really lacking those over the last few
months and that’s why I think she is concluded her campaign today. Why? I mean at one but she started strongly at one point Harris was seen as potentially the
most formidable candidate against Donald Trump, so why did she lack the support?
Why did she lack the money? Well, I think some of the recommendations that are
coming out now questions about how the campaign was organized and structured
what the strategic focus was as well. A decision to not necessarily play
in South Carolina which was a state that seemed geared towards her strengths and
advantages there is a tremendous African-American vote in that state, she
chose instead to put all of her chips in the early contests of Iowa and yet was
not able to gain traction there. I think one of the other elements that folks are
looking at we saw this in Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency in 2008
often times a presidential campaign is an indicator of how someone will govern
when they are in office is President, Obama’s campaign famous for the no-drama
Obama style very organized, very precise whereas all throughout the campaign
Harris’s candidacy was plagued by infighting and turmoil and organizational issues, and I think all those factors together have led us to this
point where she’s now out of the race and the sweepstakes to become the
Democratic nominee in 2020. How much of a factor do you think that she was in such
a crowded field and look the field is still so crowded? Well indeed it is and
you know what one has to keep in mind there are now still over a dozen
candidates in the race, only one can end up the victor, there’s only one survivor
in the presidential nomination sweepstakes. But I think the fact that
she is a candidate that still had a very albeit smaller but impassioned base of
support I think you’re going to see the other candidates look to try and court
the Harris support base not only that senator Harris herself is someone who
already now is going to be on the shortlist of whoever emerges as the
Democratic nominees running mate choice because she brings a lot of attractive
qualities to the table, she’s young, she’s dynamic, she’s proved on the campaign to
be very articulate. She also is a female and an african-american which represents
a very important part of the Democratic base constituency, so I don’t think we’ve
heard the last yet of senator Harris on the national scene. Where’s what’s your
hunch about where her supporters go? Well you know she was trying to stake out a
candidacy that bridged the two elements of the Democratic constituency, the
moderate centrist elements and the progressive left elements. So that’s
going to be the interesting question I think right now you will certainly see
Joe Biden, who there was certainly an effort early on in the race for him to
try and enlist her people in her support, you’ll see him play there. But also for
those two remaining female candidates that have a chance to still win the
nomination talk me of course about senator Elizabeth Warren from
Massachusetts and senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, I think you’ll see both
of those camps trying and garner some of that support from Harris supporters who
are now looking for who they may want to get behind. How unusual is it that there
are still so many candidates, I mean this is just if you if you were to
predict who would win I mean that’s a challenging thing to do right now isn’t
it? Well, it is it and it isn’t you’re correct Andrew. We
are in an unprecedented situation to see really this many candidates this late in
the process certainly on the Democratic side there have been a baker’s dozen
before there have been six or seven but never this many that are still in the 14
15 candidate count. But the truth of the matter is looking at it objectively as a
political analyst right, now to my eyes there are really only four or five
viable candidates that really have a shot at capturing the nomination next
year and this winnowing process is very natural and actually as you get into the
early part of next year, I think you’ll see the race truncate and protract even
more we may be down to less than ten candidates by the time we get to the new
year. Fernand, thank you. Fernand Amandi in Miami, the political strategists and
pollster is also the host of the ‘Strange Days’ podcast.