Kamala Harris To Cut 2020 Campaign Staff & Salaries Amid Polling & Fundraising Problems
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) revealed Wednesday she is drastically reorganizing her 2020 campaign ahead of next year’s Iowa Caucus by laying off several aides at her headquarters in Baltimore.
Harris — for whom support in the polls has decreased significantly in recent weeks — has faced severe financial concerns. The California Democrat is reportedly bleeding cash and may not have enough resources to launch a strong campaign to match that of her 2020 rivals, especially the top-tier candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Harris has sent several staffers to Iowa as part of her strategy ahead of the caucus in the state next February. She is also reportedly set to lay off employees in Nevada, New Hampshire and California.
Harris struggled significantly in fundraising during the third quarter of this year. In the three months ending Sept. 30, the California Democrat’s campaign raised $11.8 million, $2.8 million less than she spent during that period. That puts Harris in fifth place for third-quarter fundraising after Sanders ($25.3 million), Warren ($24.5 million), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($19.1 million) and Biden ($15.7 million).
Among the other major changes Harris is implementing is a reduction of many of her staffers’ salaries. Her campaign manager Juan Rodriguez‘s salary — which equaled roughly $10,000 per month in the third quarter of this year — will be among those trimmed, according to a memo obtained by Politico.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 31, 2019
Rodriguez also explained Harris’s campaign plan going forward in a statement to The Root this week:
“Since the launch of the campaign, Kamala Harris and this team has raised more than $35 million from over 350,000 donors, with an average contribution of $34,” Rodriguez’s statement read. “We ended the last quarter with the fourth most cash on hand, and continue to receive endorsements and grassroots support across the country. However, in a field of 18 candidates, we face an incredibly competitive resource environment. To effectively compete with the top campaigns and make the necessary investments in the critical final 100 days to the caucus, we need to reduce expenditures elsewhere and realign resources.”
Harris’s campaign is also substantially cutting costs in order to save up enough money to make a bid for a seven-figure media purchase in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus.
Harris has qualified for the next Democratic debate in November, although she is tied with businessman Andrew Yang for sixth place with 3 percent support, according to a new poll released this week by Suffolk/USA Today. Harris is one point behind the fifth-place candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).