In what will likely stoke speculation about a potential 2020 presidential run, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California plans to visit several states, including Iowa, later this month ahead of the midterm elections.
Harris, a Democrat, will stop in Des Moines on Oct. 22, where she is expected to speak at an event organized by Polk County Democrats, and in Cedar Rapids on Oct. 23, with other stops in between. She last visited the state in 2008 as San Francisco’s district attorney to campaign for then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.
In recent months, Harris, 53, has actively campaigned for Democrats around the country ahead of next month’s midterms, helping to raise more than $5 million for party candidates. She recently said she would “take a look” at a possible 2020 presidential run, the Hill reported.
The first-term senator is one of several Democrats contemplating presidential bids to challenge President Trump. Iowa is considered a prime destination for potential presidential candidates, because the Iowa caucuses traditionally launch a presidential election year.
The other Democrats visiting Iowa have included U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who recently headlined a party event in Des Moines, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who recently campaigned for Fred Hubbell, the party’s candidate for Iowa governor.
During the summer, Harris endorsed Deidre DeJear, a Democrat who is running for Iowa secretary of state.
But before her Corn Belt visit, Harris will hold campaign events this coming Friday in South Carolina and Oct. 21 in Wisconsin. She also recently campaigned for Democrats in Arizona and Ohio.
Harris’ national profile rose sharply over her opposition to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Harris and Kavanaugh had a testy exchange over whether he discussed the Russia investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller with anyone at a law firm associated with Trump’s personal lawyer.
“I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us,” Harris said when Kavanaugh responded that he couldn’t remember if he’d had such conversations.
She called the hearing a “sham” and a “disgrace” and accused Kavanaugh of being anti-women.
“He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions,” she tweeted in September. “Make no mistake – this is about punishing women.”
But in September, the Washington Post gave Harris a rating of Four Pinocchios, saying she selectively edited a video of Kavanaugh comments about abortion-inducing drugs to argue that he is against birth control.
She’s also been an outspoken voice against Trump and Republicans, blasting them for their policies on everything from immigration to health care.
On Oct. 3 in Washington, Harris offered what the Atlantic magazine described as a possible preview of how she might respond to President Trump in a head-to-head campaign.
“Stop being mean,” Harris responded when asked for her reaction to Trump’s mocking of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford during a campaign rally.
Some recent numbers may reveal why Harris is making the Iowa visit: A recent David Binder Research poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers showed that 37 percent favored former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination 2020, Politico reported, followed by Elizabeth Warren (16 percent), Bernie Sanders (12 percent), Harris (10 percent) and Booker (8 percent).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.