The gigantic field of Democrats running for president in 2020 is now thinning out at an accelerating pace. Recently we’ve seen comparatively obscure candidates like Seth Moulton and Jay Inslee drop out, after it became clear they had zero chance of gaining any traction. Now a far bigger name has also dropped out: Kirsten Gillibrand.
Just a few minutes ago, Gillibrand posted this tweet, confirming the spuculation that had been growing as the afternoon went on: “Today, I am ending my campaign for president. I am so proud of this team and all we’ve accomplished. But I think it’s important to know how you can best serve. To our supporters: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Now, let’s go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate.” So why is she dropping out?
This one isn’t too difficult to parse. Earlier today it was revealed that due to the ever-increasing threshold for qualifying, several candidates who participated in the first two debates are highly unlikely to qualify for the upcoming third debate. Among them: Marianne Williamson, Steve Bullock, Tulsi Gabbard, and – you guessed it – Kirsten Gillibrand.
When you’re polling at essentially zero percent, you need to make an impact in televised debates in order to have any chance of gaining any kind of traction. If you no longer qualify for the upcoming debates, there’s really no point in continuing to campaign. There are various reasons why Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign went nowhere despite her fairly high profile. But we give her a lot of credit for dropping out today the minute she realized she no longer had any chance of winning, instead of trying to drag it out further. Our guess is more people will drop out soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report