Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, ending a 12-month campaign that began with an explosion of enthusiasm but fizzled quickly.
An aide told NBC News that that the senator had notified her staff Tuesday that she was dropping out of the race and the campaign emailed the news to supporters soon after.
In the email to supporters, Harris said her campaign “simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign,” Harris continued. “And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. 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.”
She added, “So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”
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Her exit out comes just weeks before the deadline to get off the ballot in Harris’ home state of California, a move that could spare her some embarrassment if she thought she would lose there. She had already qualified for the debate later this month.
Harris announced her candidacy nearly a year ago, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, before holding her first rally just days later in front of a crowd of more than 20,000 people in Oakland, Calif.
In April, she reported raising $12 million in the first quarter — second only to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who raised $18 million.
Then, at the first Democratic debate in June, she drew notice for attacking former Vice President Joe for his stance on busing and school segregation. After that, her polling numbers shot in the double digits, including registering at 13 percent in the national NBC/WSJ poll.
But her fundraising began lagging over the summer (she reported in July having raised $11.8 million in the second quarter — trailing South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg’s $24.9 million, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, D-Mass., $19.1 million, and Sanders’ $18.2 million) and was put on the defensive on health care at the second Democratic debate at the end of July.
Following that debate, he polling numbers dropped to the single digits — and never really recovered.
Amid those problems, Harris’ campaign reorganized — laying off some staffers in early states to focus its resources and attention on Iowa.
The latest RealClearPolitics average of recent polling showed Harris with just 3.4 percent support nationally, and just 3.3 percent and 2.7 percent backing in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.
Competitors immediately weighed in.
Biden said he had “mixed emotions” about her exit “because she is really a solid, solid person and loaded with talent.”
He didn’t respond to questions about whether he would consider her as a vice presidential candidate if he were to win the presidential nomination.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., praised Harris in a tweet, calling her a “good friend and incredibly strong public servant.”
Mark Murray contributed.