Tietz: Kamala Harris Campaign: My take

After the Kamala Harris visits in Iowa City, what about her campaign sets her apart from other Democratic candidates and how are her visits to Iowan cities making a difference in her campaign?


Katina Zentz

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. walks on stage during a town hall at the IMU on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Harris is running for president in the 2020 election.

Caely Tietz, Opinions Columnist

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending both Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris’ town hall in Iowa City and an event held by her campaign to mobilize volunteers in the eastern Iowa region.

Presidential-nomination candidate Harris brought a crowd of almost 1,000 to the IMU on April 10 and left those in the audience with a feeling of hope for the rest of the campaign season. Harris discussed many policy proposals, including the criminal-justice system, immigration, college tuition, foreign policy, and the Green New Deal, while also putting a large emphasis on education.

Directly before the town hall, Harris met with Iowa educators to discuss her platform and announced to the crowd at the event that she hopes to raise teachers’ salaries by $12,200, which appealed to many in attendance.

But in a campaign season with more than 20 candidates, how does Harris for the People stand out? It is hard for anyone to decipher which of these Democratic candidates, who often have similar policy plans, are viable for the presidency and worth our time and dedication. In an especially critical presidential election, how will the Democratic candidates argue their cases against their colleagues and friends?

Overall, Harris spoke well and hit home within many Iowans as she shared many of her personal tidbits that helped create her path to the presidency.

I attended a volunteering event for the Harris campaign to get a better look at her overall strategy and to see exactly what her tactic is to stand out as a frontrunner these next several months before the Democratic caucauses. I believe Harris is one of the most viable candidates in the running thus far.

Harris is running a campaign that feels personal and unique but with enough national momentum to feel like Harris will make a difference nationwide. In my opinion, the campaign has done an effective job of deciding who its target voters are and how to effectively communicate with its constituents. The campaign successfully reaches out to potential voters, striking a chord within many as Harris shares her passion for civic activism and equality in the United States. Among many other popular policy platforms, Harris uses her background in law enforcement to relate to voters and push for truth and equal deliberation.

In a tweet by FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver, Harris was ranked among the top tier in likelihood to win the nomination.

Although these polling results are likely to change drastically as the next few months continue, this is a huge step in the right direction for the Harris campaign and a promising result to the efforts the California senator and her campaign have made so far.

It is clear that many candidates are making notable appearances across the state of Iowa and on the University of Iowa campus, but Harris’ trips have been extremely deliberate and strategic because she understands the value of Iowa voters. So far, her investment in Iowa visits and campaign roots in the state have been beneficial and crucial to her success in the Hawkeye State and arguably the entire Midwest. Her commitment to lesser heard voting groups and charismatic personality have been — and will continue to be — a large advantage to Harris’ success in the 2020 campaign.