Kamala Harris Is Now the Candidate to Beat - WSJ op-ed
By Gerard Baker Editor at Large
It’s an especially curious state because I suspect that, if we weren’t all talking about the squad right now, we would be talking incessantly about Kamala Harris. There’s not much doubt that the California senator has suddenly become the sensation of the primary season so far. In the space of a month she has traveled from the crowded middle of the distant second tier of candidates to, arguably perhaps, the front of the front. It’s difficult to recall such a sudden shift of fortunes in a primary contest absent an actual primary or caucus vote.
The polling speaks for itself. In the Real Clear Politics polling average, her score has almost doubled from around 7% before the first Democratic debate to just under 13%. But that national poll picture doesn’t fully capture the momentum she has established in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. It must be noted that she still trails Joe Biden in all the polls. But it’s not easy to find a thoughtful Democrat outside the Biden camp who sees an easy way for the former vice president to pull out of his free fall since his widely panned performance in the first debate.
Nicolas Checa, a pollster and political consultant and managing director of McLarty Associates, says the Democratic race is evolving into a contest between advocates for remedies to what he calls the two inequalities. The first concerns gender, race and sexual identity. The second is economic. Ms. Harris has jumped ahead in the fight to win the first contest. That’s why her take-down of Mr. Biden at the first Democratic debate on the race issue was so effective. On the issue of economic inequality, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is forging steadily ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
What could stop her? So far she hasn’t yet made much headway with black voters, who for the time being are mostly remaining loyal to Mr. Biden; he wins support by reminding everyone he served alongside President Barack Obama for eight years. But if Mr. Biden does fade, Ms. Harris may win over that support... One experienced Democratic figure who’s signed on to the Harris campaign says the bigger risk to her prospects may be a temptation to push herself out to the left—especially if she’s in a final battle with Ms. Warren.https://www.wsj.com/articles/kamala-har ... 1563556667