© Frank Franklin II/Associated Press, fileUS Senator Kamala Harris spoke to supporters in New York on Wednesday.
US Senator Kamala Harris of California - one of two dozen Democrats seeking the party's 2020 presidential nomination - will make two campaign stops in New Hampshire on Sunday, marking her first visit to the state since her breakout debate performance last month.
Harris, 54, was considered one of the top contenders for the nomination when she announced her entry into the race in January, but she has struggled to gain traction in the teeming field of candidates, often polling in the single digits throughout much of the spring.
Like many other candidates, the first-term senator has been searching for a viral moment to help her campaign break through. It seemed she might have found one when her forceful questioning of Attorney General William Barr on special counsel Robert Mueller's report made the rounds on the internet in May.
But what may have been her true breakout moment came during June's Democratic primary debate, when Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, engaged in a heated exchange with former vice president Joe Biden over civil rights and school 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," Harris told Biden. "And that little girl was me."
Interest in Harris spiked immediately; she was the top trending topic among all Google searches in the US minutes later, according to Google Trends, and she raised $2 million online in the subsequent 24 hours.
Pundits and pollsters generally agreed that her performance vaulted her into the top tier of contenders, which includes Biden, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. A CNN poll gauging candidate support taken after the debate saw Biden drop 10 percentage points and Harris leap 9 percentage points into second place.
Born in Oakland, Calif., Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. Before winning her US Senate seat in 2016, she was the district attorney of San Francisco and then California's attorney general.
Harris's stances on many issues bear similarities to those of her competitors. She supports free tuition at four-year colleges for most Americans, an assault weapons ban, and the Medicare-for-all proposal. But she's been criticized by progressives for her prosecutor background and what detractors say was a tough-on-crime approach to criminal justice.
Sunday, Harris will travel to Gilford, N.H., for a house party at the home of former state Representative Lisa DiMartino, before speaking to voters at a town hall at Somersworth High School in Somersworth, N.H.
Kellen Browning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @kellen_browning.