Dropping Like Flies
As the caucuses draw closer, many long-shot candidates have begun to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Over the past three days alone, we have seen three Democratic presidential candidates drop from the race. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, Governor of Montana Steve Bullock, and California Senator Kamala Harris have all announced the suspension of their campaign for president.
Joe Sestak was the first in our trio of recent withdrawals. Before he withdrew, a poll conducted by Emerson College in mid-November had him polling at 1 percent support nationally. Sestak declared the suspension of his campaign on Sunday, December 1 via a screenshotted announcement on his Twitter account along with the caption “Thank you for this opportunity!” Interestingly enough, he never directly stated that he was dropping out of the race or that he was suspending his campaign. It was obviously implied throughout the announcement but he never outwardly stated it. Rather, he thanked his supporters for the opportunity repeatedly and simply implied that he was removing himself from the race. He ended his suspension announcement with the same thankful manner present throughout the note: “With my deepest appreciation, please accept my final note of service to you.”
Steve Bullock followed in Sestak’s shoes the next day. He announced his campaign suspension through a Medium post on Monday, December 2. Bullock noted that his reason for dropping out of the race was that he wouldn’t be able to gain ground in the crowded race. The same Emerson College poll from above had Bullock polling at 0 percent nationally. Like Sestak, Bullock repeatedly failed to meet debate requirements. In his announcement, he wrote, “Today, I announced that I’m suspending my campaign for President. While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering into this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates.” He also paid homage to the first-in-the-nation state, which neither of the other former candidates did, thanking “the organizers and staff on the ground in Iowa, who inspired me every day through their energy, belief, and enthusiasm.”
Most recently, California Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the race yesterday, December 3. She announced her campaign suspension in a video on Twitter, noting that removing herself from the race was “one of the hardest decisions of her life.” She explained that her reason for withdrawing from the race was not due to lack of support as it most likely was for Sestak and Bullock (Harris polled at 3 percent support nationally according to the Emerson College poll), but rather a lack of monetary funds. She wrote, “My campaign for president simply does not have the financial resources to continue, and the financial resources we need to continue.” She went on to thank her supporters and declare her official withdrawal, stating “So to you my supporters, my dear supporters, it is with deep regret, but also with deep gratitude, that I am suspending our campaign today.”
With the removal of these three candidates from the race, there are fifteen Democratic candidates left, vying for a ticket out of Iowa and the Democratic nomination for president. The increase in people withdrawing from the race is not surprising as the caucuses draw nearer, now only sixty-one days away. As we get even closer to the caucuses, we can expect to see even more candidates dropping out of the still crowded race.