On the eve of the deadline for the September Democratic debate, another candidate who won’t make the cut has decided to drop out of the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York, has announced she is ending her 2020 presidential campaign and will instead focus on helping her party defeat Donald Trump and take back the U.S. Senate next year.
As Gillibrand came to realize, 2020 simply wasn’t her time and she was never able to dig out of the polling basement or build any real coalition of support:
She announced her exit Wednesday afternoon in a video posted on Twitter.
“It’s important to know when it’s not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country,” Gillibrand said. “I believe I can best serve by helping to unite us to beat Donald Trump in 2020.”
Gillibrand thanked her volunteers and supporters in the video, saying “I’m so proud of this campaign and everything we’ve achieved.”
Gillibrand is ending her campaign just weeks before the third Democratic presidential debate, which she had not qualified for.
Gillibrand had positioned her candidacy as a staunch defender of abortion and of driving a message of equality, championing causes such as equal pay. She also pushed into traditional red state territories, such as Georgia and Missouri, which have been at the forefront of the abortion debate.
With Gillibrand out, the field has shrunk but still remains large with at least 20 major active candidates.
September debate lineup
Today was the deadline for candidates to meet qualifications for the September Democratic debate. Billionaire Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard were both on the cusp of qualifying but neither candidate got the poll numbers they needed in data released this morning, according to Politico:
Steyer isn’t the only candidate on the bubble. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has also met the donor threshold, according to her campaign, but only earned 2 percent in two qualifying polls. Self-help author Marianne Williamson crossed the donor mark, but has just one qualifying poll. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who had one qualifying poll but little chance to make the stage, announced on Wednesday that she was dropping out of the race.
While, barring an 11th-hour miracle, these other candidates are likely to be excluded from the September debate, those who decide to plod ahead anyway still have a chance to make the stage for the fourth debate in October. The same rules apply: 130,000 donors, and 2 percent in four qualifying polls.
With Gabbard and Steyer locked out, it appears that the Sept. 12 debate will be held to just one night with ten candidates on stage.
Here’s the lineup barring any unforeseen changes until we get official confirmation from ABC and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Thursday:
|Num||Candidate||Polls AND Donors||Donors Only|
|14||Bill de Blasio|
The September debate will air on ABC with more details coming soon once the debate lineup is officially finalized.