First blood, fresh blood, and bad blood: That’s this week’s story in the presidential race.
Begin with blood. This day in California, Representative Eric Swalwell finished his race for the Democratic nomination, shocking information to many Americans who had no idea he had been running in the first place. Swalwell will seek reelection to the U.S. House instead. He’s the primary candidate to exit the race.
Swalwell’s campaign was quixotic from the start, but unlike Cervantes’s hero, he never really journeyed anywhere. Swalwell was unable to construct much name recognition, even though managing to qualify for the first Democratic debate in June. His most prominent moment came early in the second night of that debate, when he challenged Joe Biden to hand off the torch to a younger generation. Biden whined Swalwell off; Kamala Harris delivered the punch that Swalwell was expecting to land on the former vice presidentand Swalwell more or less vanished, end up with all the second-least amount of speaking time of the night, before just Andrew Yang. He had been in danger of not making the next debate, in the end of July.
This is not necessarily an indictment of Swalwell; it’s just that it’s difficult to get focus in this discipline. 1 common explanation for why long-shot candidates run is to raise their profiles, and possibly Swalwell failed, but according to a Morning Consult poll, 50 percent of voters hadn’t even heard of himwith just his House colleague Seth Moulton faring worse.
It speaks well of Swalwell that he is able to read the writing on the wall if a lot of his rivals are still feigning illiteracy. While he may be the first to depart the race, he is very likely to be joined by others before too long. Require John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, who recently fired much of his staff and is trying a relaunch. After initially appearing to attribute his former aides, he told a reporter in Iowa that the actual issue was probably the offender. “Certainly the huge majority of the issue with the effort was not being as good of a messenger as I need to be, however you can’t switch or trade in a new offender,” he explained. That may be true of the Hickenlooper campaign, but voters can change or exchange in–not that a lot of these were in his corner in the first location.
Next, the new blood: Even as Swalwell prepares to exit, another Californian, the financier Tom Steyer, will enter the race, my colleague Edward-Isaac Dovere reports. I’ve written in this area multiple occasions that the area is finally at ability and will just shrink, and new candidates keep appearing. (Hello, Joe Sestak! Nice to see you, Steve Bullock!) Steyer is an interesting case because he announced back in early January that he wouldn’t run. Yet despite seeing a field of coiffed white dudes don’t go anywhere, he is apparently tempted to try his hand anyway.
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