Harris pledged the sorority — the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women — as a student at Howard University. Now, more than three decades later, she is leaning on the group’s influential network to advance her prospects in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

In South Carolina, where there are eight historically black colleges and universities and nearly 4-in-10 Democratic primary voters are black women, according to 2016 exit polls, the AKA advantage amounts to an army of potential surrogates for the first-term senator.

“She’s uniquely positioned,” said Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina-based Democratic strategist. “I think that’s a built-in infrastructure that not a lot of people come to.”