US Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Grabs Spotlight, Sets Town Hall Viewership Record

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US Senator Kamala Harris speaks during a launch rally for her first ever US presidential campaign at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. — Photo:
Bay Area News Group

WASHINGTON — From her symbolic campaign launch on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to her massive rally turnout in Oakland to a record audience for her nationally televised town hall in Iowa, Indian-origin presidential hopeful Kamala Harris has made a big splash over her first week as a presidential candidate.

Kamala Harris’ town hall on CNN with an average of 1.957 million viewers got the network its highest ratings ever for such an event with an individual election candidate, according to the network.

Ms Harris, 54, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, announced her run for presidency last week. She has been voted on top of the list of Democratic leaders aspiring to defeat President Donald Trump in the US Presidential election in 2020.

Ms Harris, the second African-American woman elected to the US senate, has drawn comparisons to Barack Obama since early in her political career.

CNN announced on Tuesday that the broadcast was the most-watched cable news single candidate election town hall, according to Nielsen data.

The live event on Monday averaged 1.957 million viewers, a figure far greater than CNN’s previous four town halls, which attracted an average audience of 1.119 million each, the network said in a statement.

Monday night’s CNN Town Hall with Ms Harris was the most watched cable news single candidate election town hall ever, the news network said in a statement.

CNN was also number one in prime time in the demos, it said. In the townhall, Harris reflected on her various policy issues, responding to questions from the audience.

Moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, the Town Hall with Kamala Harris propelled CNN to 945,000 total day live starts across digital platforms on Monday.

The California Senator is hoping to capitalize on high early fundraising numbers and enthusiasm from the base before the Democratic primary field.

It was reported last week that the Harris campaign raised more than $1.5 million in online donations in the 24 hours since she announced her candidacy for president. She also held a highly publicized rally Sunday to officially kick off her presidential bid.

Kamala Harris got another boost on Tuesday evening when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he wouldn’t run for president, a development that could help her consolidate support in the Golden State.

We’re just at the start of a long campaign. But already, party strategists are openly discussing the first-term California senator as one of the front-runners of the 2020 primary. — Agencies

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