California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris is reportedly laying the groundwork for her 2020 presidential campaign with a trip to Iowa late this month.
According to a report in The Atlantic, which did not name its sources, Harris is planning to spend the weekend in Iowa before this year’s hard-fought midterm elections.
Harris hasn’t denied an interest in running for president but has never moved beyond actions that could position her for such a campaign.
If Harris is serious about a presidential run, a new poll indicates she has some work to do.
A poll funded by former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge showed that former Vice President Joe Biden was the only one of about a dozen names to get double-digit support among Iowa Democrats who said they were likely to vote in 2020.
The poll showed that 21 percent supported Biden.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was second at 8 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 7 percent, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at 6 percent and Harris at 5 percent.
Warren has said she is seriously considering running. The others listed in the poll have neither ruled in or ruled out a campaign.
One expert noted that poll numbers over a year before a vote are not always an accurate reflection of what the actual results will be.
“I think while he has awesome numbers, my recollection in 2014 was Secretary Clinton had stratospheric numbers,” said Iowa Democratic strategist Jeff Link.
“I think for people like Secretary Clinton or like Biden, they are very popular until they join the race. Then they become a candidate like everybody else as opposed to the revered figure,” he said.
Harris has stood in staunch opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, claiming he could not demonstrate “impartiality, integrity, and truthfulness.”
A report from McClatchy News Service said Harris has used the high-profile hearings as a time to build her political network by helping other Democrats raise money.
It shows she’s “a player on the field instead of sitting in the locker room,” said Bob Mulholland, a Sacramento-based Democratic strategist.
“She’s helping her team,” he added.
Harris also has plans to campaign on behalf of Democrats running in Ohio, Arizona and Georgia.
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