“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” she said in a statement. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
Harris is the most high-profile candidate to drop out of the contest so far and her announcement could shake up a Democratic field that still numbers 15 candidates.
Despite an energetic and promising start that saw her draw large crowds, Harris has struggled to break into the top tier of candidates and has recently seen poll numbers slump amid reports of dysfunction within her campaign. She has also struggled financially in recent months, halting ad buys and paring down staff.
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete,” Harris said in a thinly veiled dig at billionaires Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, both of whom entered the race late and are drawing on their vast personal fortunes.
Harris, the former California attorney general, qualified for all five Democratic debates and was expected to take the stage at the December contest. She most notably sparred with former Vice President Joe Biden on race and school busing in the first debate in June, leading to one of the most dramatic exchanges between candidates this season.
Harris has also faced criticism from some on the left for her record on criminal justice when she served as attorney general.