Former US congressman Beto O’Rourke dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Friday and Senator Kamala Harris has cut staff and shut down campaign offices in a sign of her own mounting problems with polls and finds.
O’Rourke’s exit leaves 17 candidates still in the race, many of who are struggling with the same problems that forced him out and made Harris downsize her campaign: low poll numbers and shrinking funds, which feed on each other.
“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee,” he wrote in a note that he tweeted out to announce he was dropped out. “Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.”
The former congressman from Texas entered the race eight months to frenzied reception, with some comparing him to former US President Barack Obama. His narrow defeat in the election to unseat Republican senator Ted Cruz in a deeply Republican state was his chief achievement, and it was not enough.
Harris, whose mother was from Chennai, had a rockstar entrance into the race as well with thousands of people showing up, for instance, at her announcement in Oakland, where she grew up and landed her first job as a public prosecutor.
Harris went on to project herself as an African American, to much heartburning in the Indian American community, drawing upon her heritage from her father, who is from Jamaica.
“Sen. Harris and this team set out with one goal — to win the nomination and defeat Donald Trump in 2020,” campaign spokesman Nate Evans told The Washington Post Friday. “To do so, the campaign has made a strategic decision to realign resources to go all-in on Iowa, resulting in office closures and staff realignments and reductions in New Hampshire.”
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