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Things Aren't Going Super Great for Kamala Harris so She's Going ‘All-In on Iowa’

Her cash-strapped campaign is laying off staff and literally betting the farm on Iowa.

by Elizabeth Landers
Oct 30 2019, 7:38pm

Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign announced Wednesday that the campaign would be laying off staff and literally betting the farm on Iowa.

The memo, obtained by VICE News, was written by campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and describes an “organizational realignment to go all-in on Iowa.” He praises the fundraising efforts of the campaign so far — $35 million raised to date — but concedes a “competitive resources environment” is leading to a cash crunch.

“Plenty of winning primary campaigns, like John Kerry’s in 2004 and John McCain’s in 2008, have had to make tough choices on their way to the nomination, and this is no different,” Rodriguez writes. Neither one of those candidates won the presidency.

Harris raised $11.6 million during the third quarter of the fundraising cycle, which was a slight drop off from her second quarter fundraising which was $11.8 million. Unlike Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Harris partakes in closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers where wealthy donors can max-out their contributions to her campaign.

The memo also includes a thinly-veiled swipe at some of her primary competitors, “This requires us to make difficult strategic decisions and make clear priorities, not threaten to drop out or deploy gimmicks.”

Both Senator Cory Booker and Secretary Julian Castro made public appeals for fundraising in the last few weeks, saying that if they didn’t reach certain dollar goals, they would quit the race. Both men have stayed in.

Harris campaign press secretary Lily Adams confirmed the announcement via Twitter, saying that “Campaigns are about tough choices and this one is no different.”

The campaign will be laying off staff at the Baltimore headquarters. Rodriguez noted that he would be taking a pay cut, along with campaign consultants, and other contracts would be renegotiated.

He also explained a shift in manpower: the campaign will deploy staff from offices in New Hampshire, Nevada, California and some from headquarters to Iowa, showing an all-in bet that they’re making on the first state in the presidential primary race. The South Carolina staff will remain intact.

Cover: Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary on October 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

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Iowa
Democrats
2020 election
kamala harris