Gillibrand Drops out as 2020 Democrat Field Shrinks

As reported by TheHill


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday evening that she has dropped her bid for the Democratic nomination after failing to qualify for the third Democratic presidential debate next month and struggling to catch fire with primary voters.

Gillibrand’s announcement comes on the deadline to qualify for the September debate. She failed to hit the donor or polling requirements for inclusion after struggling throughout her campaign with fundraising despite hailing from a donor-rich state.

From start to finish, Gillibrand, who entered the race in January, made her work on behalf of women the centerpiece of her campaign, headlined by her support for abortion and women’s rights. She went further than most candidates, saying that she would only nominate judges who support the ruling in Roe v. Wade, if elected.

She also made a point of attacking former Vice President Joe Biden on a number of women-related issues in recent months. Most recently, she was on the losing end of a back-and-forth with the former vice president after she accused him of opposing women working outside the home. Biden pointed to his work to pass the Violence Against Women Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act before wondering why she was suddenly making this point.

“I don’t know what happened, except you’re now running for president,” Biden retorted onstage in Detroit.

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Gillibrand was also on the defensive over positions on various issues now compared with her arguments during her early days in the House as a Blue Dog Democrat, especially on guns and immigration.

She also becomes the fourth Democratic candidate to drop out in recent weeks as it became more likely they would not be able to reach the debate stage on Sept. 12, along with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is now running for Senate back home. The prominent Democratic field numbers at least 20 candidates.

Gillibrand’s exit makes any endorsement she decides to make for a Democratic contender valuable. She indicated to The New York Times that she will endorse in the primary, but has not decided who that will be. She stopped short of saying she would back a woman for the party’s nod.

“I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country,” Gillibrand said. “I think a woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting.” 

“I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump,” she added.