The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

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 ended his race for the Democratic nomination, shocking information to the 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 candidate to exit the crowded race.
Swalwell’s effort was quixotic from the start, but unlike Cervantes’s hero, he never really journeyed anywhere. Swalwell was unable to build much name recognition, despite managing to qualify for the very first Democratic debate in June. His most notable moment came in the second night of the debate, when he challenged 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 president; and Swalwell much more or less disappeared, end up using all the second-least amount of talking time of the night, before just Andrew Yang. He had been at risk of not making the second argument, in the end of July.
This isn’t necessarily an indictment of Swalwell; it’s just that it is difficult to get attention in this discipline. One common explanation for why long-shot candidates conduct is to increase their profiles, and perhaps Swalwell did, but according to some Morning checkup survey, 50 percent of voters had never heard of him, with just his House colleague Seth Moulton faring worse.
It speaks well of Swalwell that he is able to read the writing on the wall if a lot of his rivals are still feigning illiteracy. While he could be the first to leave the race, he’s very likely to be joined by other people before too long. Take John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, who recently fired a lot of his staff and is trying a relaunch. After initially appearing to blame his former aides, he told a reporter in Iowa that the actual issue was probably the offender. “Surely the huge majority of the problem with the campaign was me not being as good of a messenger like I want to be, however you can not switch or trade in a new offender,” he explained. Which may be true of this Hickenlooper effort, but voters can switch or exchange in–not that many of these were in his corner in the first location.
Then, 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 have written in this space multiple times that the field is finally at capacity and will only psychologist, and yet new candidates keep appearing. (Hi, Joe Sestak! Nice to see you, Steve Bullock!) Steyer is an interesting case because he announced back in January that he wouldn’t run. Yet despite watching a field of coiffed white dudes fail to go anywhere, he is apparently tempted to try his hand anyhow.

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