Readers React: Why are Kamala Harris’ poll numbers falling? She comes off as a centrist

Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco on June 1.
Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco on June 1.
(Jeff Chiu / AP)

To the editor: Who is Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)? I have no idea, even after she has run in two elections in which I could vote for her. (“After dazzling debut, Kamala Harris falls from top of presidential pack,” May 31)

She was anointed by the powers in San Francisco, which seem to decide who our state politicians will be. Aside from her first race for state attorney general, none of her elections were much of a contest.

I have a feeling she is a more modern package of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a centrist who is liberal on social issues, but unlike Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), she does not think the system is broken. Like President Obama, Harris is unlikely to question military spending or push Wall Street very hard.


The electorate is not looking for a centrist, so of course her poll numbers were destined to fall.

Harlan Levinson, Los Angeles


To the editor: Harris is sliding in the Democratic presidential race? Even though she’s about a percentage point behind the second-place Democrat in polls?

Forget about her Oakland rally in January attended by more than 20,000 people, her raising $1.5 million in 24 hours and her recent MSNBC town hall watched by 2.2 million television viewers, the second-highest-rated forum televised thus far.

It’s wrong to say Harris’ answers to questions on healthcare betray ambivalence. She was thoughtful and clear in favoring a national healthcare plan but definitive that union workers who took a cut in pay to receive better healthcare should keep their plans. She believes parents can promote the importance of education by guiding children into regular school attendance.

Still, some say she’s a mystery. Why, because she’s compelling, brilliant, honest and a woman of color? Really?

Marcy Bregman, Agoura Hills


To the editor: The article cites Harris supporters who mention “conservative law enforcement officials on one side, who were naturally suspicious of a mixed-race woman from San Francisco.”

As a retired California law enforcement officer of 41 years, I strongly disagree with that statement.

I know of no one in California law enforcement that would agree with that biased, unsubstantiated statement. Any law enforcement skepticism of Harris as a candidate is more likely based on her spotty performance as district attorney in San Francisco and as California’s attorney general.

The L.A. Times did a disservice by perpetuating a stereotype of law enforcement officials as a bunch of Neanderthal racists and sexists.

Dan Watson, Glendale


To the editor: Harris will probably not be president. The best thing she can do is to get out of the Democratic race very soon, so that the early California primary may be decisive and not clouded by the candidacy of a favorite daughter.

Hopefully, this will preserve Harris’ effectiveness in the Senate.

Norman Green, Los Angeles

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