Kamala Harris has a lot riding on Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Houston. The California senator, a breakout star at the first Democratic debate, has since faded from the top ranks of contenders.
Thursday’s debate comes amid desultory poll numbers and unforced campaign errors. Although her support doubled from 8% to 17%, according to a CNN poll immediately following the first Democratic debate, a Quinnipiac University poll in August shows her poll numbers dropping to 7%. The RealClearPolitics average has Harris at 7.2%, well behind former Vice President Joe Biden at 29.8%, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 18.7%, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 18%.
Adding to the campaign’s woes, this week a campaign staffer left a strategy memo at a New Hampshire restaurant detailing internal concerns over the candidate’s performance.