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Kamala Harris Raises $2 Million in 24 Hours After Debate


WASHINGTON — Senator Kamala Harris of California raised $2 million online in the first 24 hours following the start of Thursday’s presidential primary debate, a total that suggests her performance resonated with many Democratic donors.

Ms. Harris, whose preplanned sparring with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. over his record on race relations was the highlight of two nights of debates, collected donations from 63,277 people, Ms. Harris wrote in an email to supporters. She said 58 percent of those donors had not contributed to her campaign before.

The haul comes at a key moment for Ms. Harris. Sunday marks the end of the year’s second fund-raising quarter, a marker by which the 24 Democrats running for president will be judged.

“It was the best day of online fund-raising yet,” Ms. Harris wrote in the email.

Ms. Harris was already among the Democratic primary’s fund-raising leaders. She collected $12 million in the three months ending March 31, second only to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised $18 million in that period.

Since then Mr. Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., have emerged as the Democratic field’s leading fund-raisers.

Ms. Harris entered Thursday’s debate following months of questions about her performance. After launching her campaign before a 20,000-person rally in Oakland, Calif., she lingered in the high-single digits in public polling, trailing Mr. Biden, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

But on Thursday, while Mr. Biden and others engaged in cross talk about race relations, she seized the opportunity to inject herself into the conversation.

“I would like to speak on the issue of race,” she said, before attacking Mr. Biden’s decades-old fights against federally-mandated busing programs to integrate schools.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day,” she continued. “That little girl was me.”

Within minutes the Harris campaign was advertising T-shirts showing an elementary-school aged Ms. Harris with the words “That little girl was me” on them.

Ms. Harris’s debate haul virtually ensures she will meet threshold set by the Democratic National Committee to participate in debates throughout the fall and winter.

Ms. Harris and other presidential candidates are required to report their fund-raising figures to the Federal Election Commission by July 15, though many are expected to release their totals as soon as Monday morning. Mr. Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., are expected to post large fund-raising numbers for the second quarter of 2019.


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