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Kamala Harris Blames Campaign Struggles on America, Suggests Race and Gender Holding Her Back

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As California Sen. Kamala Harris’ poll numbers continue to falter, the Democratic presidential candidate is ginning up a new explanation for her flagging campaign.

In an interview with Axios on HBO posted on YouTube on Sunday, Harris questioned whether America is “ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States.”

The senator called the issue of her electability the “elephant in the room” for her campaign.

“There is a lack of ability or a difficulty in imagining that someone who we have never seen can do a job that has been done 45 times by someone who is not that person,” she said.

Harris rejected the argument that America is necessarily ready for a black woman to be president after electing Barack Obama to the office in 2008 and again in 2012.

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“America was ready for a black man to be president of the United States,” Harris’ interviewer pointed out.

She replied by claiming that Obama faced a similar challenge.

“This conversation happened for him,” the senator said.

Harris defended her assertion with a story from her time campaigning for Obama before the Iowa caucuses.

Do you think Harris' race and gender have anything to do with her decline in the polls?

She said she was asked to visit a “senior African-American residential home” in a last-minute effort to secure more votes for Obama. Harris said she was greeted at the door by an elderly woman who told her “they’re not gonna let him win.”

Obama, of course, won not only the Democratic primary but the presidency as well.

The California Democrat concluded her story with an implicit comparison to her own campaign.

“I say all of this to say to you, I’m aware of the challenges,” she said.



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The reaction to her comments wasn’t positive.

Harris’ poll numbers have slumped after a brief surge following her fiery performance in the June Democratic debate.

On that debate stage, she famously attacked former Vice President Joe Biden, then a clear front-runner in the primary, for his Senate record on race. Her tense exchange with Biden earned Harris a bump in the polls.

Since July, however, her numbers have precipitously declined, with her RealClearPolitics average standing at 5.3 percent, good for only fifth among Democratic presidential hopefuls.

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