Nov 29, 2019

Kamala Harris struggles to reignite presidential campaign

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris' 2020 campaign is in the midst of freefall as the campaign deals with disorganization at the highest levels and a dire financial situation, The New York Times reports, citing interviews with "more than 50 current and former campaign staff members and allies."

The big picture: At the start of the campaign, Harris shot to the top of the polls, especially after she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his desegregation and busing policy. Flash forward to today, Harris is at the bottom of the polls in early states and is struggling to make a lasting impression on voters, the Times notes.

  • Harris' campaign is struggling to raise funds — forcing them to run fewer ads on Facebook and preventing them from airing TV ads in key early-voting states, per the Times.

Her campaign: A schism in Harris' campaign leadership has led to disorganization with campaign manager Juan Rodriguez on one side and her sister Maya Harris on the other. Campaign aides told the Washington Post it's still not clear who is in charge of the campaign, and there's no clear leadership structure.

  • Maya tries to push Harris to the left, particularly in regards to criminal justice, while her other advisers want her record to speak for itself, the Post reports.
  • Rodriguez, the campaign manager, has added to the campaign's disorganization and some say it's a result of his inexperience on presidential campaigns.
  • Kelly Mehlenbacher, a former state operations director for Harris, resigned and blasted the campaign for its poor treatment of the staff and that she no longer has confidence in the campaign's leadership, per the Times.

The Harris campaign responded to the Post that a "competitive finish in Iowa will demonstrate she is viable beyond that first contest and into later states like South Carolina and Super Tuesday, where she continues to earn endorsements and gain traction."

The bottom line: "She has proved to be an uneven campaigner who changes her message and tactics to little effect and has a staff torn into factions," the Times writes.

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The European Union is considering an $826 billion coronavirus rescue package to fund recovery efforts for all member states, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

By the numbers: More than 5.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 355,500 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 15.1 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,682,389 — Total deaths: 354,944 — Total recoveries — 2,337,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,697,459 — Total deaths: 100,276 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  8. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy