Kamala Harris, betting favourite for the Democratic nomination, chooses today, Martin Luther King Day, to launch her campaign

January 21st, 2019

Will she be able to stop Trump?

The big news in the 2020 White House race is that as expected, Kamala Harris has formally announced that she is running for the Democratic nomination, and of course, the presidency.

In recent months her star has been rising within the party following some widely publicised Senate grillings in which she has given some of Trump’s nominations for high office a hard time. She’s the former Attorney General of the biggest state in the Union, California, and is of Tamil and Jamaican descent. Appropriately she chose today, Martin Luther King day, for the big announcement.

She enters a field that is already becoming crowded not the least with some of her fellow senators. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was first in on New Years Eve while New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand put hat her hat into the ring last week. Another Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, is likely to follow her. He first won his Ohio Senate seat in 2006 and only 2 months ago retained it with a majority of 6.8%. That compares with the 8% margin that Donald Trump had in the state at at the WH2016. A nominee who could win in swing-state of Ohio could be very attractive to the party.

We have yet to hear from the second favourite for the nomination, Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who had a very good result in the November Senate election against the Republican Ted Cruz.

All this is building up to a fascinating primary battle and it is hard to make predictions until you’ve seen how the first States to participate actually rate the candidates.

Remember the runaway odds on favourite Howard Dean in 2004 who apparently could do no wrong until he failed at the first step in a Ohio and made a speech afterwards that effectively knocked him out of the race.

It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts to Harris’s arrival in the field. So far, unlike with other prominent Democrats, he has failed to attach a tag line to her which has stuck.

Mike Smithson