Following a breakout performance in the first round of Democratic primary debates that gave her a notable uptick in the polls, 2020 presidential contender and California Sen. Kamala Harris has nevertheless seen her campaign slip and slide downward in terms of support among her party’s base ever since.
That downward trend may only get worse for Harris as it was just revealed that rather than attend an upcoming CNN town hall event on climate change, the candidate will instead be attending a fundraiser event with wealthy donors in Los Angeles.
Fundraiser takes precedence
The Daily Wire reported that, in light of pressure from the left-wing base of the Democratic Party demanding that the environment be front-and-center in the 2020 primary season, CNN announced that it would hold a two-night town hall event for any candidate who qualified to discuss nothing but climate change and how it would be approached by a hypothetical Democratic administration.
All that was needed to qualify for the event was for a candidate to achieve 2% support in four or more polls approved by the Democratic National Committee by August 21, and thus far that number includes only nine of the declared candidates, with Harris among them.
Harris had declined the invitation from CNN for the September event, citing a scheduling conflict. But a campaign reporter for ABC News, Zohreen Shah, revealed in a tweet that the real conflict was that Harris would be attending fundraisers in downtown Los Angeles hosted by wealthy donors and campaign bundlers.
Millionaires and billionaires
Unsurprisingly, the excuse for skipping the climate change town hall event was unacceptable to the environmentalist activist group that initially led the pressure campaign to force the climate change event in the first place, an organization known as the Sunrise Movement.
“Yikes. @KamalaHarris is skipping out on the first ever Presidential climate forum to schmooze with big donors,” the group said on its official Twitter account. “Debating our generation’s survival isn’t optional. We need a leader who prioritizes the future of humanity over rubbing elbows with millionaires and billionaires.”
There were several other tweets and retweets on the Sunrise Movement’s Twitter timeline that explicitly called out Harris and chastised her for seemingly choosing wealthy donors over protecting the earth’s future, indicating that this is a problem for Harris that won’t be quickly forgotten or swept under the rug.
Interestingly, the one Democratic presidential candidate who has essentially based the entirety of his campaign around the issue of climate change, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, has yet to qualify for the CNN town hall event and will likely fail to do so by the deadline.
As of now, Harris is ranked in a distant fourth place among the top 2020 Democratic candidates in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, with roughly 7.4% support, down from a high of 15.2% support she enjoyed in early July following the first round of debates.
Given how climate change has been imbued with the utmost importance by a significant portion of the Democrat Party’s voter base, Harris’ decision to skip the climate change town hall to instead meet with wealthy donors will quite possibly come back to haunt her.
Another significant decline in support in the polls could put Harris’ campaign at a serious disadvantage going forward, if not ultimately end it altogether.