Des Moines, Iowa: It was on the third day of a five-day bus tour across Iowa last week that 2020 White House contender Kamala Harris finally seemed to hit her stride.
Armed with fresh endorsements from two of the state’s most sought after political influencers early on Saturday, the US Senator from California got an enthusiastic welcome from over 500 people at a Des Moines area high school.
For the first time during her tour that started on Thursday, the crowd began chanting Harris’ new slogan about Republican Donald Trump’s presidency: “Dude gotta go!”
The country needs a leader who can “prosecute the case against Trump” and “it will take a prosecutor to do it,” Harris, California’s former top prosecutor and a former district attorney of San Francisco, told the audience. “And we’ve got quite the rap sheet.”
Harris, 54, is among two dozen Democrats vying for the party nomination to take on Trump in the November 2020 election.
Months after entering the presidential race as a relatively fresh face on the national stage, Har-ris, who is of Jamaican and south Asian descent, has ranked fourth in most national opinion polls, behind former Vice-President Joe Biden and liberal US Senators Eliza-beth Warren of Massa-chusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Her surge in support after the first Democratic presidential debate in June in Miami, where she successfully challenged Biden’s record on race, had dissipated by the second debate in July in Detroit, where she was attacked by lesser-known rivals.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken between August 1-5 showed that Biden remained in first place with 22 per cent support, relatively unchanged from the month before. Harris was in fourth, dropping 4 points to 5.7 per cent support over the same time period.
But in Iowa, there are signs that her campaign could be gaining traction. A Monmouth University poll released on August 8 showed Harris third in the state, with 11 per cent support, behind Biden and Warren.
And on Saturday, her campaign announced major endorsements from Iowa power couple Sue and Bob Dvorsky, a former state party chairwoman and a former state senator, who supported former President Barack Obama in 2008 in his surprise upset over Hillary Clinton, then Clinton in 2016 when she eked out a win over Sanders.
The winner of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses has gone on to be the party’s nominee for the last six election cycles and Obama’s victory there in 2008 catapulted him from little-known junior U.S. senator to the White House. In an interview on Sunday, Harris said she felt that her performance in the second debate did not match her stand-out performance in Miami....