Delaney Ends 2020 Presidential Campaign

January 31, 2020 by Dan McCue
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks at the Climate Forum at Georgetown University in Washington. Delaney, the longest-running Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, is ending his campaign after pouring millions of his own money into an effort that failed to resonate with voters. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON – Former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., ended his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Friday morning, saying an internal analysis showed he wouldn’t do well enough in Monday’s Iowa caucus to remain viable.

In addition, his campaign said, though Delaney himself would not meet the 15% viability bar in most caucus precincts, his continued presence in the race could prevent other moderate candidates from reaching that threshold.

The Iowa caucus, historically defined as “gatherings of neighbors,” begins with Iowans gathering at schools, churches and other public buildings in each of the state’s 1,681 precincts.

Each precinct divides its delegate seats among the candidates in proportion to caucus’ goers votes.

Participants indicate their support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area of the caucus site (forming a preference group). Then, for roughly 30 minutes, participants try to convince their neighbors to support their candidates.

Undecided participants may visit each preference group to ask its members about their candidate.

After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted, and the supporters for each candidate are counted. At this point, the caucus officials determine which candidates are viable.

Depending on the number of county delegates to be elected, the viability threshold is 15% of attendees. For a candidate to receive any delegates from a particular precinct, he or she must have the support of at least that percentage of participants.

Once viability is determined, participants have roughly another 30 minutes to realign: the supporters of nonviable candidates may find a viable candidate to support, join together with supporters of another nonviable candidate to secure a delegate for one of the two, or abstain.

When the voting is closed, a final head count is conducted, and each precinct apportions delegates to the county convention.

Throughout his campaign, Delaney expressed a commitment to governing with pragmatic, fact-based, bipartisan solutions.

“This approach – which is what successfully won back the House in 2018 – beats Trump, unifies our nation and gets things done,” his campaign said.

“John does not want the good work of his campaign to make it harder for those like-minded candidates on the bubble of viability in many Iowa precincts to advance in the Iowa caucuses and garner delegates,” it added.

After thanking his supporters and campaign team, Delaney said in a statement “this race was never about me, but about ideas and doing what’s right for our nation.”

In leaving the race, he encouraged his fellow Democrats to “sharpen [their] focus on the growing opportunity inequality that exists in both rural America and struggling urban communities.” 

Delaney said he’d met many people on the campaign trail “who care deeply about the character and decency of this nation.”

“Because of them, we have every advantage any nation could possibly want to have in 2020, except for one problem: we are a deeply divided nation,” he said. “The good news is that we can fix that problem, but we have to fix it together. Step one is to beat Donald Trump and restore decency to the office of the President.  In many ways, this is all that matters and I am fully committed to supporting our nominee and fulfilling that mission. Step two is to get our government working for the American people again. Step three is to focus on the future and leave the world better than we found it.”

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