A few months ago, over two dozen Democrats announced that they were running for president in 2020.
Now, months before the first primary votes are cast in Iowa, less than 10 Democrats actually have a shot at securing the nomination.
But the list grew even smaller this week when former San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Julian Castro, the former Obama Housing secretary, dropped out of the race.
Castro established himself as one of the more progressive members in the primary race, but struggled to raise money and fight his way back onto the debate stage.
As the campaign rolled on, Castro’s polling remained low and he failed to qualify for the presidential debates in November and December.
He made the announcement in a video posted to his official Twitter account.
“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” he tweeted. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”
Castro said they’ve “shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people, and given a voice to those who are often forgotten.”
Sounding a bit petty like Hillary Clinton, he rounded out his announcement by complaining that “it’s time for the Democratic party to change the way that we do our presidential nominating process.”
It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.
I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
In the video announcing the suspension of his campaign, Castro did not indicate what he might immediately do next.
Some have suggested that Castro could either be a vice presidential pick for the eventual Democratic nominee, especially given the party is trying to flip Texas from Red to Blue.
Time will tell what Castro does next, but his decision to suspend his presidential campaign came after his former boss, Barack Obama, made a big splash in the 2020 race.
Obama has not officially announced who he will endorse, but he has apparently made his pick — Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Behind the scenes in recent months, Obama has been encouraging wealthy donors to support Warren’s campaign despite her repeated criticisms of Wall Street and the wealthy.
And if Warren becomes the nominee, Obama has said they must throw the entirety of their support behind her.
The former president has vouched for her credentials, making it clear in these private sessions that he deems her a capable candidate and potential president, sources say.
“He’s asked all of the candidates who have sought his advice three questions: Is your family behind you? Why you? And why now? She checked the box for all,” said one longtime Obama ally.
“I think he feels licensed to give an opinion on her because he’s ‘hired’ her,” the longtime Obama ally said.
“He obviously thinks she’s very smart,” one Democratic donor added. “He thinks her policy ideas matter. And I think he sees her running the campaign with the most depth.”
It’s also quite comical that Obama still refuses to endorse Joe Biden, who served as his vice president for eight years and is currently running for president.
It was reported back in August that Obama told Biden, who served as his vice president for eight years, that running for president would be the biggest mistake of his life.