Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris raised $2 million in just 24 hours after the start of Thursday’s presidential primary debate where she took former Vice President Joe Biden to task over his spotty record on race relations.
During the debate, Harris confronted Biden’s fight against federally-mandated busing programs to integrate schools and his recent comments about missing working with racist, segregationist senators.
“It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly,” Harris said, a powerful moment during the debate.
This clearly has resonated with voters around the country and her campaign noticed immediately. Within minutes after that moment in the debate, the Harris campaign was advertising T-shirts showing an elementary-school-aged Harris with the words “That little girl was me” on them.
The $2 million raised in a day was collected from 63,277 people, Harris wrote in an email to supporters. She said 58 percent of those donors had not contributed to her campaign before.
The amount of money and supporters is a strong sign for her candidacy because Sunday is the end of the year’s second fund-raising quarter, which the slew of 24 Democratic candidates will be judged by.
Harris was already one of the strongest candidates. She collected $12 million in the three months ending March 31, second only to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised $18 million in that period, according to the New York Times.
Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., are both also leading fundraisers.