Democratic strategist advises Harris not to skip CNN climate town hall

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said Tuesday that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisChamber of Commerce argues against Democratic proposals for financial transaction taxes Warren proposes new restrictions, taxes on lobbying Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum 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 BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChamber of Commerce argues against Democratic proposals for financial transaction taxes Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 Warren proposes new restrictions, taxes on lobbying MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerWorking Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Progressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE (D-Minn.), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D), South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election MORE and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election Yang campaign says it received 450K entries for 'Freedom Dividend' contest 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