Senator Elizabeth Warren has decided to drop out of the presidential primary, following a race built on a strong set of progressive policy proposals and an optimistic start from a politician known for her ability to hold power accountable. The New York Times reports that Warren informed her staffers of her plans moving forward during a meeting Thursday morning.
Warren ran on a platform to broaden safety nets, fight corruption, and push the party to the left, drawing a clear contrast between herself and her centrist rivals and offering voters an alternative to Bernie Sanders. In a July 2019 debate, she famously pushed back on John Delaney’s characterization of her policy agenda as fairytale economics, saying, “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to be the president of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” She maintained this energy throughout much of the primary season and pushed her ability to turn what moderates tend to describe as “pie in the sky” ideas into easily digestible policy proposals. “I have a plan for that,” Warren said, again, and again, and again. And she did have plans, a slew of them, laid out in detail on via her official campaign website.
But after a sharp rise in the polls late summer and fall of 2019, she experienced a steady slump as the race continued. She pivoted to marketing herself as the unity candidate, one who could appeal to the Democratic party’s left and right. The tactic worked to little avail; soon she was receiving little attention or airtime from the press. Warren still had her moments and excelled on the debate stage, and routined annihilated Michael Bloomberg during his two debate appearances. But it wasn’t enough to bolster her numbers.
Warren nabbed a third-place win in Iowa and was overpowered by Amy Klobuchar in an upset in the New Hampshire primary, coming in fourth place in the state. She also received a fourth-place win in Nevada and fifth in South Carolina.
By Super Tuesday, it was clear that Warren was done, especially after receiving a third-place win in her own state of Massachusetts. And despite the fact that Warren was one of the few white candidates who able to talk about racial injustice—in health, in education—with sincerity, and despite the fact that Warren was bolstered by several black and Latinx surrogates, broad support among non-white voters never materialized.