The sudden exit of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, from the 2020 presidential campaign is causing a panic among some within the Democratic Party over the remaining candidates who are participating in the upcoming debate, who are all white.
Despite qualifying for the December debate, Harris announced earlier Tuesday that she was suspending her candidacy amid sinking poll numbers and fundraising.
“In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do,” Harris wrote in an email to supporters. “So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”
Her departure leaves only six candidates on the debate stage: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer.
The other candidates of color have yet to meet both requirements set by the DNC to participate in the December debate. The requirements include having at least 200,000 unique donors and reaching four percent in four DNC-approved polls or six percent in two DNC-approved early state polls.
Both tech businessman Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, have met the donor requirement to qualify for the December debate but have yet to meet the polling requirement as they each only have three polls and have until the December 12 cutoff to earn the fourth.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has met the donor requirement but does not have any qualifying polls so far. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has not met either requirement and previously failed to qualify in the November debate.
Booker expressed on Tuesday evening that he was “a little angry” of his friend and Senate colleague’s exit from the race, noting how the 2020 Democratic field began as “one of the most diverse.”
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