Montana Governor Steve Bullock said on Monday (December 2) he was quitting his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, one day after former U.S. Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania also exited the crowded race for the party’s nod to run against Republican Donald Trump.
Bullock, a telegenic governor whose success in a conservative-leaning state won praise from pundits but failed to catch fire in a field that once numbered 25 candidates, is the latest to drop out as the first nominating contests approach early next year.
“While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates,” 53-year-old Bullock said in a statement on Monday. He will return to Montana to finish out his second term as governor.
On Sunday, Sestak, a former Navy admiral and two-term Representative from Pennsylvania, dropped out of the race, sending supporters an email.
They joined more than six contenders who ceased campaigning this year: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
The race for the Democrats’ nomination to run against Trump has been intensely competitive, with all but the top four candidates struggling to raise money and break through to a party desperate to unseat the populist president.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads in national polls, followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Real Clear Politics Average of polls shows.
The remaining candidates have struggled to raise money and win recognition and support.
(Production: Arlene Eiras)