Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California is reportedly considering a bid to unseat President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential race. The junior senator sparked campaign speculation when she was spotted at a meeting with high-profile Democratic donors.
On July 15, Harris attended a donor event in Bridgehampton, California. The gathering was joined by donors associated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, prompting speculation that the California senator was eyeing a campaign run in 2020.
"Kamala is the big Democratic star right now, at a time when they badly need a star," an anonymous Democratic insider told Page Six. "She's coming to the Hamptons to meet key people as she takes a national stage, and expands her influence and ambitions."
Other Democratic fundraisers expressed confidence that Harris was already planning a presidential bid.
"She's running for president," an anonymous Democratic bundler told The Hill. "Take it to the bank. She's absolutely going to run."
Harris, 52, was a prosecutor before she became the district attorney of San Francisco. She later graduated to the office of California Attorney General and was elected to the Senate in November 2016. She is already a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Several Democratic operatives have asserted that Harris' background and law experience would make her stand out in a 2020 Democratic primary.
"The dominant trend in Democratic Party politics is fresh, new and interesting -- that's what people are looking for -- not old, steady and establishment," Democratic fundraiser Wade Randlett told Politico. "And Kamala is the trifecta of that."
One anonymous Democratic fundraiser viewed the hype around Harris as premature.
"She's no Barack Obama -- she doesn't give speeches like Obama and she doesn't fundraise like Obama," the Democratic bundler said. "But that's not the way she's looking at it. In this political climate, she's saying, if not me, then who?"
Harris has repeatedly shot down speculation that she plans to run for president. On Feb. 1, the junior senator said she was baffled by the speculation.
"I don't know why my name is in that context," Harris told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm focused on being the junior senator from California and very proud to be representing our beautiful state."
On June 17, a Morning Consult/Politico poll signaled that Harris would have to overcome a lack of national name recognition if she were to compete in the 2020 Democratic primary. While 27 percent of Democratic respondents viewed Harris favorably, 13 percent had no opinion while 53 percent had never heard of her before, according to Morning Consult.
On July 18, a survey conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling found that Harris would narrowly inch out Trump if the election were held that day. Harris garnered 41 percent support among respondents while Trump received 40 percent support in their theoretical matchup, The Blaze reports.
On July 20, Harris offered her first substantial policy proposal with a bipartisan bill to reform the nation's pre-trial bail system. The legislation was co-sponsored by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, CNN reports.
"In our country, whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you're wealthy or not -- and that's wrong," Harris said in a statement.