Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke announced that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race in a Medium post Friday afternoon.
The New York Times first broke the news of his withdrawal.
In his Medium post, O’Rourke said that though the decision to withdraw is “difficult to accept,” it has become clear to him that “this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully” and that his “service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”
During the 2018 midterm elections, the former congressman from El Paso, Texas garnered national attention for his dynamic Senate campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Despite narrowly losing the closely watched Senate race to Cruz, O’Rourke’s entry into the 2020 primary in March — which was revealed in a Vanity Fair cover story that he would later describe as a mistake — was met with celebration from figures ranging from rank-and-file Democrats to former President Barack Obama.
Although O’Rourke had a strong start to his presidential campaign by raising more than $6 million in his first day as a candidate, he failed to maintain that same momentum later on. The Times noted that O’Rourke raised more campaign funds in his first 48 hours than in the following 1,000 and gradually wiped out his campaign funds by spending more than he was receiving.
O’Rourke’s presidential campaign was marked by his championing of issues related to gun control and climate change, which included calling for federal gun-control policies that would require assault-style weapon owners to surrender their rifles to the government.
According to a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Friday, O’Rourke only had the support of 1 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa. The Times also noted that he had not yet met the requirements needed to participate in the upcoming primary debates this month and next.
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