Democratic strategist advises Harris not to skip CNN climate town hall

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said Tuesday that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Steyer spokesperson: 'I don't think necessarily that Tom has bought anything' MORE (D-Calif.) should participate in a climate-focused town hall next month, noting that the issue has become a key campaign issue in the Democratic presidential race.

“Climate change has become a big issue in this primary and to this country and the fact that she skipped out — maybe — is strategic,” Seawright, who is president and CEO of Blueprint Strategy, told Hill.TV on Tuesday.

“But I wouldn’t have skipped out on this discussion,” he added, saying such a move could give opponents the upper hand.

So far, eight Democratic presidential candidates have qualified to participate in the CNN town hall, which will be focused on climate change: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report Biden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Booker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll CNN cancels next week's Iowa town halls MORE (D-Minn.), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D), South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Yang: Trump followers 'kind of like me' Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE.

Harris was invited to the event, but her campaign told CNN that she will not be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict. A spokesman for Harris’s camping didn’t immediately respond to The Hill’s request for details of the conflict.

Some political observers, meanwhile, have warned that the former California attorney appears to be losing steam in recent months following her breakout moment during the first round of Democratic debates in June. 

Even though Harris surged past Warren to claim third place in The Hill-HarrisX's post-debate poll, she has since dropped into the single digits, consistently polling behind Biden, Warren and Sanders. 

—Tess Bonn