Kamala Harris' obviously scripted and generally bizarre performance at the September 12th debate has her major donors on the fence about her future and whether or not they can dedicate themselves to her cause alone, according to CNBC.
Her close supporters had acknowledged that if Harris didn't "come out swinging" against her opponents and "clearly define her policies", that wealthy donors could begin to shy away from her. Now, that's looking like exactly what has happened.
After desiring to see Harris continue attacking her opponents, as she did against Joe Biden in the first debate, supporters and uncommitted contributors are now "not convinced" that they can support her.
Harris opened the third debate by suggesting President Trump would have been indicted if DOJ guidelines were different. “The only reason you were not indicted is because there was a memo in the Department of Justice that says a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime,” Harris said at the opening of the debate.
From there, Harris' debate was a mix of odd lines, weird laughter and clearly scripted one-liners.
Her Presidential campaign has relied on contributors willing to give up to $2,800 to fund itself. Harris has raised over $14 million since January, most from large individual contributors. This is more than half of the total $24 million she has raised, after a $12 million push in the second quarter. At least 45% of her contributors have come from her home state of California.
Harris had another take on her performance at the debate, telling people in a mass email on Friday that she had “won over a lot of new supporters in this fight” and that she was “focusing our resources on capturing last night’s momentum.”
The reality is different.
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But one source told CNBC that major California fundraisers were having trouble getting donors to back Harris prior to the debate - and that this opinion didn't change after the debate.
The source said:
“I don’t think anything has changed, and it’s been grim. Donors believe that on the debate stage Harris is still unclear about her message and strategy. They liked the Trump focus, but there was too much odd laughter and canned lines.”
The source continued, stating that most of their donors would rather help either Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg.
One New York banking executive said: "You need to get into these debates and score some points or there is not going to be any money for her. She didn’t score any points."
A Harris contributor from Los Angeles said: “She’s now tacked back and self-corrected. Now it looks like she’s been schooled and directionless.”