California Congressman Eric Swalwell today became the first to drop in the race to be the Democratic candidate to face President Donald Trump in the presidential election in 2020, which lowers the number of candidates from 25 to 24.
In a press conference in the city of Dublin, a reference municipality of the district he represents, in the San Francisco Bay area, Swalwell confirmed the rumors that had already begun to circulate a few hours before and ended a campaign which has lasted exactly three months since it was announced on April 8.
The 38-year-old congressman thus became the first candidate to leave the presidential primaries with the largest number of relevant candidates in national history (it is also usual that these processes also involve anonymous citizens who do not even participate in the debates).
Swalwell did participate in one of two debates held to date among Democratic hopefuls, in which he received some media attention for his attempt to discredit the favorite, former Vice President Joe Biden, because of his advanced age.
“He was right when he said it was time to move on to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago – that’s still true today,” Swalwell told his 76-year-old rival.
Polls show repeatedly that despite this episode, the congressman enjoys very little public recognition and is at the bottom of the list in popularity with fellow Democrats.
“Being honest with us, we had to look at how much money we had raised and how we were doing in the polls,” Swalwell acknowledged on Monday when announcing he was leaving the presidential race.
The departure of the congressman is the first of predictably many others that will occur in the coming months, as the rules of the Democratic National Committee increase the demands on candidates to participate in debates, which will make those who remain lose a lot of visibility, their campaigns suffering in result.
The same day that Swalwell went down, speculation resumed with the possible entry into the race of another California Democrat and the San Francisco Bay Area, billionaire Tom Steyer, who ruled out this possibility earlier this year.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Steyer, a former manager of a risky investment fund and a regular critic of Trump, would have changed his mind during the last weeks and finally decided to apply, which would place the number of candidates in 25.