Her history as a prosecutor - and role in advocating for tough sentences for people of color - forced her to answer questions that voters looking for a candidate committed to criminal justice reform repeatedly asked.
The first-time Democratic senator had entered the race with much fanfare and expectations.
Harris noted that she was not able to self-fund her campaign like some of her billionaire competitors, but she does have more money than some of her competitors.
Harris' rise and fall were particularly dramatic in a crowded field where many candidates have struggled to break out.
"I'm moving to Iowa", the senator joked at rallies, as she vowed to campaign in the state each week.
"I am grateful for her leadership and the courage she brings to the Senate and the national debate", he added. Joe Biden, vice president under President Barack Obama, still lays claim to a plurality of African American voters and they're not deserting him anytime soon.
Harris went on to note that she was "suspending" her presidential bid, which technically means the campaign could be started anew should circumstances change, though for all intents and purposes, the Californian's 2020 candidacy ended this afternoon.
Ms Harris would have struggled to spend competitively against her rivals. "And as the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete".
Harris launched her campaign in front of 20,000 people at a chilly, outdoor campaign launch in January.
Both Booker and Harris were counting on their biographies and longtime advocacy for racial justice to resonate with black and Latino voters in the crucial early voting states of SC and Nevada, and also in California, the first big state to vote that reflects the national diversity of the party. The group canceled the ad buy Tuesday morning.
"Their No. 1 concern is to beat Trump in 2020 and they want to back the candidate who can best to do", said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics and the director of the institute's Center for Public Interest Polling. Several top aides decamped for other campaigns, one leaving a blistering resignation letter.
Harris often suggested it was criticism she faced in her other campaigns - all of which she won.
To be clear, there are candidates still in the race who still haven't told us.
The high point of Sen.
But Harris' departure this early before the Iowa caucuses was unexpected, especially considering she had already qualified for the December debate stage, something a number of candidates still in the race had yet to do.