Democratic strategist advises Harris not to skip CNN climate town hall

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said Tuesday that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Fox's Napolitano: Supreme Court confirmation hearings will be 'World War III of political battles' Rush Limbaugh encourages Senate to skip hearings for Trump's SCOTUS nominee 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 BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee Trump campaign plays up Biden's skills ahead of Cleveland debate: 'He's actually quite good' Young voters backing Biden by 2:1 margin: poll MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenJudd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America GOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into allegations of medical neglect at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBattle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election' MORE (D-Minn.), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D), South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq MORE and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangDoctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who's moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls Buttigieg launches his own podcast 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