Well before the first vote was cast in the race for the White House, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) announced Monday that he would drop out of the race for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination for President, unable to break out of the lower tier pack of candidates.
"My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran," Swalwell said in a note posted on his campaign website.
"I promised my family, constituents, and supporters that I would always be honest about our chances," Swalwell said. "After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination."
Swalwell did get some attention during the first Democratic debate in Miami, when he went after former Vice President Joe Biden, and said it was time for Biden to 'pass the torch' to a younger generation of Democrats.
"I was six years old when a Presidential candidate came to the California Democratic convention and said, 'It's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans," Swalwell said.
But the gambit produced no boost for Swalwell, who scrapped a planned trip to New Hampshire last week.
Like a number of others now in the race for the Democratic nomination, Swalwell had been making the rounds on TV, going to Iowa, and New Hampshire - but had little to show for it in terms of momentum or notice.
"This is about 3 months overdue," said GOP pollster Frank Luntz.
"Swalwell's Presidential campaign lasted exactly three months," noted Rob Pyers, a California political researcher.
The Democratic race remains filled with people just like Swalwell, who harbor dreams of winning their party's nomination, but are little more than an asterisk in the polls, less than one percent in the polling averages.
Swalwell was in danger of not making the debate stage later this month and even if he did, he said it would be very hard for him to make the September debate threshold. He said ballpark fundraising for this quarter is around $850,000.— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) July 8, 2019
California Rep. Eric Swalwell has ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Says he’ll seek re-election to the House.— Mitchell Miller (@mmillerwtop) July 8, 2019
It is not unusual for candidates to give up before the first primary and caucus states even arrive.
The next Democratic debate is set for July 30-31 in Detroit, to be hosted by CNN.