First-term Sen. Kamala Harris, the former attorney general of California, announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that she’s running for president in 2020 for two-thirds of what Superman once vowed to defend, as well as some other important things: "truth," "justice," "decency," "equality," "freedom," and "democracy."
"These aren’t just words," Sen. Harris says in her presidential announcement video released Monday. "They are the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now."
"The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values," she continues, the word "FIGHT" highlighted on the screen. "That’s why I’m running for President of the United States. I’m running to lift those voices, to bring our voices together."
She signs off by inviting supporters to join her in Oakland, CA on Sunday Jan. 27 for her big campaign kick-off event and asking folks to check out her website, KamalaHarris.org, to join her campaign.
Harris is the third female Democratic senator to announce her candidacy following Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Both senators’ announcements have been met with skepticism, the former as a result of her “divisive” claim to Native American ancestry, which she inflamed through her "1/1,024th" DNA test fiasco, and the latter because of her poor performance in the presidential polls.
"While Ms. Warren’s stinging attacks on Mr. Trump and Wall Street have helped make her a favorite of grass-roots liberals, she also faces challenges as a presidential candidate: controversy over a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage, skepticism from the party establishment and a lack of experience in a national race," the Times reported in response to Warren’s presidential announcement. The editorial board of one of the papers from her hometown, The Boston Globe, preemptively urged the senator not to run after the DNA test debacle.
Gillibrand, meanwhile, has not yet managed to gain much national attention and has performed poorly in Democratic presidential polls, likely suffering in part from a lack of name recognition.
Gillibrand, the youngest of the candidates at 52 (Harris is 54, Warren 69), famously promised to New York voters during her re-election bid last year that she would not run for president. Just three months before announcing that she is jumping in the ring, she was asked directly about the question. “"You will not run for president? You will serve your six years?" she was asked in October, the New York Post reports. "I will serve my six-year term," she replied.
Recent polling has shown that Harris is the top choice among the three current female candidates, though "white males" — former VP Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke — continue to top the polls. Below are the results of a much-scrutinized December CNN poll that gives Harris a slight edge over Warren (who plummeted in the polls after the DNA test), and Gillibrand, who barely makes the cut in multiple recent polls:
- Joe Biden 30%
- Bernie Sanders 14%
- Beto O'Rourke 9%
- Cory Booker 5%
- Kamala Harris 4%
- John Kerry 4%
- Elizabeth Warren 3%
- Michael Bloomberg 3%
- Amy Klobuchar 3%
- Eric Holder 1%
- Kirsten Gillibrand 1%
- Steve Bullock 1%
- Sherrod Brown 1%
- Jay Inslee 1%
- Terry McAuliffe 1%
- Eric Garcetti 1%