(NBC NEWS) – Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, ending a 12-month campaign that began with an explosion of enthusiasm but fizzled quickly.
An aide told NBC News that the senator had notified her staff Tuesday that she was dropping out of the race and the campaign emailed the news to supporters soon after.
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign,” Harris said in the email. “And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.”
Her exit comes just weeks before the deadline to get off the ballot in Harris’ home state of California, a move that could spare her some embarrassment if she thought she would lose there. She had already qualified for the debate later this month.
Harris announced her candidacy nearly a year ago, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and attracted attention for her performance at the first Democratic debate in June, when she attacked former Vice President Joe Biden for his stance on busing and school segregation.
Harris, however, had been unable to maintain momentum in the months following. Amid a sustained drop in polling over the summer, her campaign reorganized — laying off some staffers in early states to focus its resources and attention on Iowa.
But that didn’t break her fall in the polls.
The latest RealClearPolitics average of recent polling showed Harris with just 3.4 percent support nationally, and just 3.3 percent and 2.7 percent backing in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.