Democratic strategist advises Harris not to skip CNN climate town hall

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said Tuesday that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal Women who inspired 'Hidden Figures' film will be honored with congressional gold medals 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 BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Poll: Biden support hits record low of 26 percent The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDemocrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal Republicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry Klobuchar: A woman with Buttigieg's experience would not be on presidential debate stage MORE (D-Minn.), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D), South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE and tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangIntercollegiate athletics just got a two-minute warning AI and automation will disrupt our world — but only Andrew Yang is warning about it The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race 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