Democratic Dropouts

*Editor’s note: This post was updated at 5:39 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 to reflect Mike Bloomberg’s dropout after the initial publishing at 9:32 a.m.*

Dozens of candidates flooded the 2020 presidential race to receive the Democratic bid in this year’s election. More and more have been dropping out as the nomination draws nearer.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable candidates who left the race so far.

1. Mike Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg addresses a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., November 25, 2019 (Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

Mike Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor, exited the race this morning, following Super Tuesday defeats at the polls. He entered the race in November, pouring lots of money into his campaign ads.

The New York Post reports that Bloomberg cashed out “$550 million in just over three months of campaigning.” Furthermore, they calculated that he spent “$227,000—which is a little less than three times the average American household’s annual income—every single hour.”

After doing poorly at the polls, he announced his departure on Twitter: “Three months ago, I entered the race to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I’m leaving for the same reason.”

Voters might have thought they could rest assured their online browsing experiences would no longer be interrupted by Bloomberg ads, but they might just take a different form, with his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for the presidency.

2. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announces her presidential bid in front of a crowd gathered at Boom Island Park on Feb. 10, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Getty Images/Stephen Maturen)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a moderate Democrat, announced the end of her run on Monday, having entered the race in Feb. of last year.

In 2006, Klobuchar became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in Minnesota’s history, and a recent study from Vanderbilt University ranked her as the most effective Democratic senator in the last Congress.

Though not confirmed, she likely dropped out of the race due to her low popularity among the early primaries and caucuses. Her closest to a win was her third-place finish in New Hampshire.

Multiple news sources report that Klobuchar will also endorse Biden in the 2020 race.

3. Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks with members of the media, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Plains, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

“Mayor Pete” shocked voters when he dropped out abruptly on March 1, almost a year after announcing his candidacy last April.

His run was “historic,” being the first openly gay man to launch a competitive campaign for president. Buttigieg was also the first gay candidate to earn primary delegates for a major party’s nomination.

Buttigieg celebrated early success in Iowa and New Hampshire, but didn’t quite earn enough traction with voters of color. He finished far behind his competitors in Nevada and South Carolina since he could not win over that key base to the Democratic Party.

Like Bloomberg and Klobuchar, Buttigieg is endorsing Biden in the 2020 race.

4. Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer Fourth 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Debate, Westerville, Ohio, USA – 15 Oct 2019 (Shutterstock 10445227bc/Matt Baron)

Tom Steyer is another weekend dropout, exiting the race this past Saturday, Feb. 29. He was in the running since July, despite previously declaring he would focus on impeachment efforts, instead.

While he has not held any previous offices, Steyer is perhaps best-known in the political realm for launching the “Need to Impeach” campaign efforts to impeach President Donald Trump. According to The New York Times, Steyer became one of the largest Democratic financiers in the country, spending more than $300 million on politics between 2014 and 2017. He spent more than $47 million on television and radio advertisements in the early primary states.

After Biden’s double-digit win in South Carolina on Saturday, Steyer dropped out of the race because he didn’t see a victory in his future.

“There’s no question today that this campaign, we were disappointed with where we came out,” Steyer told supporters late Saturday. “But I said if I didn’t see a path to winning that I’d suspend my campaign, and honestly I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”

5. Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang, not well-known in the political sphere before entering the race, soon amassed a large following, called the “Yang Gang.”(Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

Andrew Yang was in the running longer than most—over two years, in fact. To the disappointment of the “Yang Gang,” he suspended his campaign on Feb. 11.

Self-described as an entrepreneur, husband, father and non-profit leader on his campaign site, he wished not to be known as a politician. Yang was named the CEO of Manhattan Prep in 2006, and founded the nonprofit Venture for America in 2011.

Yang’s campaign revolved around the idea of a universal basic income, which he called the “freedom dividend.”

Although he dropped out of the race on the night of the New Hampshire primary, he is still regarded as a breakthrough candidate, who endured the race and surpassed known governors and senators as a newcomer.

6. Sen. Cory Booker

A crowd of more than 300 gathered in Davenport first heard Booker’s answer after a woman in the audience asked the presidential hopeful what he’d do for the LGBTQ community in 2020, if elected. Booker promised to end Trump’s transgender military ban, which he called “un-American.” Photo courtesy of Cory Booker’s Facebook page.

Cory Booker entered the race on Feb. 1, 2019, with a YouTube video serving as an announcement. He dropped out almost a year later on Jan. 13.

Booker is a versed communicator, having been praised for his “charisma and authenticity,” according to NPR. He could not come out ahead in the race, however, and made the decision to exit after not being able to raise enough money to debate in Iowa.

“Nearly one year ago, I got in the race for president because I believed to my core that the answer to the common pain Americans are feeling right now, the answer to Donald Trump’s hatred and division, is to reignite our spirit of common purpose to take on our biggest challenges and build a more just and fair country for everyone,” stated Booker in an email to supporters.

“I’ve always believed that. I still believe that,” he added, writing, “I will carry this fight forward — I just won’t be doing it as a candidate for president this year.”

7. Marianne Williamson

Author Marianne Williamson speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season, hosted by CNN at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on July 30, 2019. (AFP/Getty Images/ Brendan Smialowski)

Marianne Williamson left the race, which she was in for a year, on Jan. 10.

An unlikely candidate—a self-help author and proclaimed “spiritual leader”—Williamson offered a unique voice to the Democratic debates.

Williamson, like some other Democratic dropouts, has never held a public office. Her stance on issues mirrored staples of the party; she called for proposals to combat man-made climate change, reform gun laws and provide universal health care.

On her site, she left her “friends” a brief letter, writing: “I’m not ‘Marianne for President’ anymore, but I’m still Marianne and it’s still 2020!”

8. Sen. Kamala Harris

According to her campaign, Kamala Harris “has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable and a vocal and determined fighter on behalf of all people.” Here she can be seen with a poster, asking voters to text FEARLESS for more info. Photo courtesy of Kamala Harris’ campaign site.

Sen. Kamala Harris announced her candidacy on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Jan. 21, 2019, because she felt “a sense of responsibility to fight for the best of who we are.” She dropped out of the race on Dec. 3.

Harris was seen as “a rising star in the Democratic Party even before she won a Senate seat in 2016,” according to NPR. She is the second black woman and first South Asian-American person ever to serve in the Senate, and one of just three black current senators.

She campaigned on a “3 a.m. agenda“—she would fight for what wakes Americans up at 3 a.m., whether it be maintaining a job or getting through a natural disaster. Despite this seemingly creative approach, Harris started to lag in the race because she did not have a clear platform.

After leaving, she told supporters in an email that she “will do everything in [her] power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are.”

9. Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke speaks during the general session at the Texas Democratic Convention, in Fort Worth, Texas Texas Democratic Convention, Fort Worth, USA – 22 Jun 2018 (AP/REX/Shutterstock 9727419o/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Beto O’Rourke, a former U.S. Representative for Texas, announced his presidential candidacy in a video on March 14, 2019. O’Rourke departed the race on Nov. 1, leaving supporters with a thank you note.

In that note, O’Rourke makes several claims regarding the individual successes of his run. These include: releasing the first comprehensive climate change plan of any of the presidential candidates, taking the “boldest approach to gun safety in American history,” calling President Trump out “for his white supremacy and the violence that he’s encouraged against communities that don’t look like, pray like or love like the majority in this country,” and proposing an economic plan based on equality and equity, among others.

Having the best interests of America in mind, according to his note, O’Rourke left the race because his campaign did not have “the means to move forward successfully.”

He pledged to support the Democratic candidate in that thank you:

“I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever that nominee is. And proud to call them President in January 2021, because they will win.”

Yet, O’Rourke went back on his word, publicly endorsing Biden earlier this week.

10. Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel ran for president in 2008 and then seemed done with political life. He ran again for 2020, but not for long. Getty Images/Alex Wong

Former Alaskan Sen. Mike Gravel decided to run for president in March 2019, when two teenagers phoned and implored him to do so. He officially dropped out of the race on Aug. 6. Gravel first ran for the office in 2008.

Not only did a couple of teens convince him to enter the race, but they also managed his Twitter account, appealing to the meme culture of younger voting age generations.

Gravel’s platform was simple: “No More Wars.” He addressed foreign policy matters arguably more seriously than the other candidates, according to Vox writer Dylan Scott, who detailed that Gravel wanted to “end unilateral sanctions against other sovereign nations…close every American base in a foreign territory…cut US military spending by 50 percent [and…] end American aid to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” things that other Democratic candidates wouldn’t dare suggest.

His campaign was short, but Gravel claims to not have wanted to win the presidential bid, anyway.

Gravel announced his bid saying he was doing so “not … to win, but to bring a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage.”

Featured image: Politico

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