With roughly 20 candidates still vying for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, prognosticators and pundits have speculated endlessly about which candidate best represents the party, which one can best motivate the base, and, most importantly in their view, which one has the best shot at defeating President Donald Trump.
Until now, however, few have asked which Democrat candidate poses the biggest threat from the viewpoint of Trump’s re-election team, but in the opinion of one anonymous source on Trump’s campaign, that person is in fact California Sen. Kamala Harris.
An exclusive report from The Washington Times suggests that while Harris’ middling campaign has been overlooked by many, it is nonetheless front and center with at least some of those in the Trump campaign orbit.
An unnamed source described only as a “key player” in Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign told The Times, “The one who scares me the most in the general is Kamala Harris.”
“The top candidates are all flawed candidates, but the least flawed is Kamala Harris,” the anonymous source added.
It was noted that the individual was not authorized to discuss internal campaign discussions, and the source admitted that this impression of Harris was solely theirs and probably a minority view within the broader Trump campaign.
Surge begins to slow
The Times reported that Sen. Harris’ campaign started off strongly enough with a January launch rally in Oakland, California that drew an estimated crowd of 20,000 supporters and placed her in the top tier of candidates in the spring months.
That impressive kickoff, paired with initially fawning media coverage, together with a strong showing in the first round of debates in June, propelled Harris to second place in the rankings with 15.2% support in early July, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, but things have gone nowhere but downhill for the senator since then.
As of now, Harris sits in a distant fourth place behind the top-tier candidates with only 7% support, well below the double-digit levels of support enjoyed by former Vice President Joe Biden (28.9%), Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (17.1%), and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16.5%).
Biding her time
One potential bright spot for Harris — and likely the reasoning behind the thought that she is a real threat in the general election — is that there’s a good chance Biden’s gaffe-prone tendencies will destroy his campaign, and both Sanders and Warren are viewed as being too far to the left for the general public to accept, at least in comparison to the relatively more moderate Harris.
The thought process is that once Biden has shot himself in the foot one too many times and Sanders and Warren have painted themselves into a far-left corner, Harris will emerge as the front-running candidate and, with undoubtedly ample support from the media, will use her status as a “woman of color” to attack President Trump as a racist and a misogynist.
Whether that tactic works or not remains to be seen, but there appears to be at least one key person in Trump’s re-election campaign who is considering that possibility and presumably developing plans to defend against such a strategy from Harris.