With reports of Kamla Harris' presidential campaign being "in meltdown," ABC News thinks it might know why the progressive California senator's 2020 candidacy has failed to gain traction.
In an article published Saturday morning titled "Is Kamala Harris proof that America isn't ready for a woman of color as president?" the news network theorizes that racism and misogyny might be fueling opposition to Harris.
Apparently, the candidate speculated in a May speech to the NAACP that if her campaign did not take off, it could be due to her gender and race.
She wondered aloud if "America was ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States of America." It was an issue she brought up on the campaign trail as well. Would her race and gender be a hindrance to her campaign amid the largest group of major contenders the Democratic party has ever seen? Would Harris, a woman who is both black and Indian American, have more difficulty as a candidate than an openly gay mayor, a Hindu Pacific Islander congresswoman, or an Asian American businessman?
However, black Democratic primary voters do not seem to be buying Harris' appeals.
According to ABC News, after hearing Harris speak at the Essence Festival, Alicia Jones, an African American Howard University alumna, said she was turned off by the 2020 hopeful's pitch to black voters. "I think that what she did was dirty. And I think she's way beyond and way above what she did."
"Don't think that I'm a vote for you just because you're black," Jones added. "I didn't vote for Barack Obama just because he was black. I voted for him because he was smart. I voted for him because he had a record that showed me the things that he did. It didn't matter that he was only a senator for five minutes."
Jones' reaction appears to be consistent with the results of an October 2019 national poll by Quinnipiac University that found former Vice President Joe Biden leading among black Democrats with 43 percent support and Harris running in a distant fifth place at two percent.
A report published Friday afternoon suggests that a likelier cause of Harris' lackluster campaign is its poor management.
Harris' campaign has laid off workers in recent weeks and aides have begun openly questioning its management, which include campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and deputy manager Maya Harris, who is also the candidate's sister, according to Politico. Campaign officials have told reporters that Rodriguez and Harris' sister are often at odds with one another.
One aide laid most of the blame on Rodriguez and noted the campaign does not have a clear leadership structure. "What feels right, what impulse you have right now, what emotion, what frustration," the aide said, describing the the campaign as having: "No discipline. No plan. No strategy."