First blood, blood, and poor blood: That is this week’s narrative in the presidential race.
Start with blood. This day in California, Representative Eric Swalwell finished his race for the Democratic nomination, shocking news for many Americans who had no idea that he was running in the first location. Swalwell will seek reelection to the U.S. House instead. He’s the first candidate to exit the race.
Swalwell’s effort was quixotic from the start, but unlike Cervantes’s hero, he never actually journeyed anywhere. Swalwell was not able to construct much name recognition, despite managing to be eligible for the very first Democratic debate in June. His most prominent moment came in the second night of the argument, when he contested Joe Biden to hand off the torch to a younger generation. Biden whined Swalwell off; Kamala Harris delivered the punch that Swalwell was hoping to land on the former vice presidentand Swalwell more or less disappeared, ending up using the second-least amount of talking time of the night, before just Andrew Yang. He had been at risk of not making the next debate, at the end of July.
This isn’t necessarily an indictment of Swalwell; it is just that it is difficult to get focus in this discipline. One common explanation for why long-shot candidates conduct is to raise their profiles, and possibly Swalwell did, but according to a Morning checkup survey, 50 percent of voters had never even heard of himwith only his House colleague Seth Moulton fared worse.
It speaks well of Swalwell that he can read the writing on the wall if many of his opponents are still feigning illiteracy. While he may be the very first to leave the race, he is likely to be joined by others before too long. Require John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, who recently fired a lot of his staff and is attempting a relaunch. After initially seeming to blame his former aides, he told a reporter in Iowa that the actual issue was likely the offender. “Surely the vast bulk of the issue with the effort was not being as good of a messenger as I want to be, but you can not switch or trade in a new candidate,” he said. That could be true of this Hickenlooper effort, but voters can change or trade in–not that a lot of them were in his corner at the first place.
Next, the fresh 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 capacity and will only shrink, and new candidates keep appearing. (Hi, Joe Sestak! Nice to see you, Steve Bullock!) Steyer is an interesting case because he declared back in January that he wouldn’t run. Yet despite watching a field of coiffed white dudes fail to go anywhere, he’s seemingly tempted to try his hand anyway.
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