For Kamala Harris, this second Democratic debate was a vital opportunity to put her campaign back on course. Instead, she ran aground on questions about the very role she sought to put in the spotlight: Her six-year stint as California’s Attorney General
Harris saw a major spike in the polls after she went on the offensive in the first debate, attacking former Vice President Joe Biden over his ’70s-era opposition to federally mandated busing as a means to fight segregation. The energetic takedown briefly sent Harris soaring past rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the polls, putting her within two points of frontrunner Biden in a July 2 Quinnipiac Poll. But the bump didn’t last, and her numbers fell back to Earth during the month between the first and second debates.