As Sen. Kamala Harris suspended her campaign for the 2020 presidential candidacy, a new poll revealed many Californian Democrats wanted Harris to leave the race.
The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies conducted the poll for The Los Angeles Times from Nov. 21 to 27. While a large majority of Harris’ own supporters wanted her to stay in the race, less than a quarter of the Democratic primary voters in California polled wanted Harris to stay in the race.
Dan Shnur, a professor for the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, attributes Californian’s dismissal of Harris to their preference for other candidates in the field. Harris was the first choice of only 7% of California Democratic voters polled.
However, Shnur found Harris’ choice to drop out of the race was the best choice she could have made right now to be in contention for the democratic nominee’s running mate.
“Certainly if there's a male candidate for president she will be one of the very small number of prominent female political leaders to be considered for the Vice Presidential spot on the ticket,” Shnur said.
Biden is still leading the polls in California. Many likely California primary voters who picked Harris as their first candidate chose Biden as their second, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Shnur predicts Harris’ exit from the race will open the door for more nomination hopefuls to leave as well.
“When a candidate of Harris stature decides to withdraw my guess is that others will follow in suit, maybe not immediately but in not too short order,” Shnur said.
Early in the campaign season, Harris was a top contender for Democratic candidates, drawing attention after her participation in the primary’s first debate and raising 11.6 million in the third quarter. However, Harris had a hard time keeping up with other candidates financially and has cited that lack of money has contributed to her dropping out of the race.
USC students shared their thoughts on whether or not Harris’ drop out was expected. Some shared that Harris lacks the experience that other Democratic candidates had.
Nicolai Harvey, a junior majoring in Music Industry, believes Harris was not progressive enough.
“She’s pretty unproven as a politician, she doesn’t have a whole lot of experience,” Harvey said. “She’s got a track record for being very moderate. Whoever doesn’t consider themselves moderate wouldn’t want her running.”
For International Relations and Global Business student Oliver Wendell-Braly, Harris’ drop out is not unexpected. “She’s not Joe Biden,” Wendell-Braly said.
“They didn’t want to waste time and media energy on a candidate they didn’t think would make it to the general election.” Other students were more surprised by Harris’ sudden exit from the race.
“I knew she was losing momentum but I guess I was surprised that she dropped out so soon,” said Upamanyu Lahiri, a second-year Masters of Public Policy student.“I thought she would at least stay for a couple more months.”
In regards to how this departure could affect or benefit other candidates, Lahiri believes that this will help Pete Buttigieg the most.
While Harris is no longer in the running for the presidency, Shnur said that her role as a United States senator overseeing the impeachment trial of President Trump will remind voters of her presence and put her “in a position to really shine.”