Who Has Dropped Out of the 2020 Presidential Race — So Far

At one time, dozens of candidates were running for president in 2020, mostly on the Democratic side with a few Trump challengers, but more and more of them dropped out as the campaign has ground on.

Michael Bloomberg
Photo: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
01 of 30

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard
Ethan Miller/Getty

The 38-year-old Hawaii lawmaker on March 19 officially suspended her campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

Gabbard won two delegates in the American Samoa caucus but she had become virtually invisible during the presidential race in recent months as her campaign's limited support failed to expand and she didn't appear in any recent debates.

"After Tuesday's election, it's clear that Democratic primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election," Gabbard said in a video announcement posted on social media.

She called Biden a friend and recognized her relationship with his family, including his late son Beau.

Gabbard is both the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress. An economic progressive and critic of America's armed interventions abroad, she has faced scrutiny in Democratic circles for being socially conservative, according to Vox, though she has reversed some of her positions and is pro-choice and now supports same-sex marriage.

02 of 30

Gov. Bill Weld

Paul Marotta/Getty

Weld announced on March 18 he was ending his largely symbolic push to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, having failed to eat away at all at Trump's conservative base of support in the primary so far.

"I am immensely grateful to all the patriotic women and men who have stood with me during the past eleven months in our effort to bring better government to Washington, D.C.," Weld said in a statement, according to USA Today.

The 74-year-old governed Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997 and while he has campaigned as a libertarian — running for the vice presidency there in 2016 — he switched back to the Republican Party to challenge Trump.

"We cannot sit passively as our precious democracy slips quietly into darkness," he said in announcing his long-shot bid last February.

"Congress must do its duty and, as citizens, we must do ours," he said then. The Boston Globe described him as an "advocate of free trade, increased immigration, and action to combat climate change," and he is more socially liberal than many of his Republican colleagues.

An intra-party challenge to a sitting president is not completely unheard of but it is unusual.

Weld said last February the he hoped "to see the Republican Party assume once again the mantle of being the party of Lincoln."

03 of 30

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on March 5 announced she was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, effectively leaving the Democratic Party's choice of a nominee between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"I know that when we set out, this was not the call you ever wanted to hear," she told her campaign staff. "It is not the call I ever wanted to make. But I refuse to let disappointment blind me — or you — to what we've accomplished. We didn't reach our goal, but what we have done together — what you have done — has made a lasting difference. It's not the scale of the difference we wanted to make, but it matters — and the changes will have ripples for years to come."

Warren's team had said the day before that she was weighing her options after a disappointing showing on "Super Tuesday," in which 14 states all voted at once — and she failed to win a single contest, even coming in third in her home state of Massachusetts.

By contrast, Biden won 10 "Super Tuesday" states, including Massachusetts, and Sanders won four.

That disappointment was the clearest proof yet of Warren's diminished place in the primary race and a dramatic reversal from her front-runner status last fall, when her can-do-it flurry of detailed policy proposals and vision of "big, structural change" in America put her at the top of many polls.

04 of 30

Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg
David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Hours after a disappointing "Super Tuesday," the billionaire and former New York City mayor announced he was leaving the race. Like the two previous rivals who dropped out, he also endorsed former Vice President Biden, who has seen a dramatic turnaround since winning the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.

"Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump — because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult," Bloomberg said in a statement early on March 4.

He continued: "I'm a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday's results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible — and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists. But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. Not for me, but for our country. And so while I will not be the nominee, I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life."

Bloomberg took an unusual route to campaigning. He started months after the other candidates and opted to skip the first four contests entirely — instead spending hundreds of millions from his personal fortune on his campaign team and, more importantly, a national ad blitz.

But when he was finally on the ballot on March 3, he won in only one place: the American Samoa caucus.

05 of 30

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar Announces Candidacy For President
Sen. Amy Klobuchar announcing that she is running for president. Stephen Maturen/Getty

The 59-year-old Minnesota senator announced on March 2 that she was exiting the 2020 race and endorsed Vice President Biden hours before "Super Tuesday," when 14 states and a third of the total delegates who will pick the Democratic nominee will be up for grabs.

"I've been so proud that people have been willing to pitch in and help each other," Klobuchar told her staff, according to The New York Times. "And so that's why this is a really hard thing to do today. But I really step back and think, 'What is the best thing for us, and not just me, but our whole team?' And I keep trying to think of what is best for our country right now. So I decided that I'm going to be endorsing Vice President Biden today."

Klobuchar, who launched her campaign in February 2019 against a snowy backdrop in Minnesota, hoped to turn her statewide popularity there and her Midwestern bonafides into a promising presidential campaign.

"For too long, leaders in Washington have sat on the sidelines while others try to figure out what to do about our changing economy and its impact on our lives, what to do about the disruptive nature of new technologies, income inequality, the political and geographic divides, the changing climate, the tumult in our world," she said at her announcement, continuing: "Let's stop seeing those obstacles as obstacles on our path. Let's see those obstacles as our path."

But she failed to ever gain significant traction and did not win any of the first four primaries or caucuses — coming closest with a surprisingly strong third-place finish in New Hampshire.

Her exit, while narrowing the remaining field of candidates, creates only more uncertainty about how voters may break on Tuesday's voting. For example, her home state of Minnesota, where she was polling in first place, is now up in the air.

06 of 30

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On March 1, Buttigieg suspended his campaign after losing the South Carolina primary — which followed a loss in the Nevada caucus a week earlier and undercut his early success in the campaign.

The 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He was one of the youngest Democratic candidates seeking the nomination and the first major openly gay candidate and first gay candidate to win a presidential nominating contest after a razor-thin (and controversial) victory in the Iowa caucus.

07 of 30

Tom Steyer

Election 2020 Tom Steyer, Des Moines, USA - 09 Jan 2019
Charlie Neibergall/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Steyer, a 62-year-old billionaire investor, Democratic donor and activist, first announced on July 9 that he would run for president — committing tens of millions of his personal fortune to the effort.

It was for naught: His best hope was breaking through in South Carolina, where he spent much of his time and had made some impression on the state's largely black electorate. But after Vice President Biden's double-digit victory in the primary there on Feb. 29, he dropped out.

"There's no question today that this campaign, we were disappointed with where we came out," Steyer told supporters late Saturday. "But I said if I didn't see a path to winning that I'd suspend my campaign, and honestly I can't see a path where I can win the presidency."

Before entering the race, Steyer had most recently generated headlines as a loud voice for President Trump's impeachment

"Almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stoping progress, stoping justice, is really important to their bottom line," Steyer said in his announcement video. He focused on issues of economic inequality and widespread corporate dysfunction in public life.

08 of 30

Gov. Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Patrick, a 63-year-old former governor of Massachusetts, announced on Feb. 12 that he was ending the presidential campaign he had launched almost exactly three months earlier (and many months after his rivals — a late start that proved insurmountable).

"I believed and still believe we had a strong case to make for being able to deliver better outcomes," Patrick said in a statement to CNN. "But the vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign's back to go on to the next round of voting."

It was a reversal of the optimism of his campaign announcment in November.

"I've been waiting for a moment like this my whole life," he said on CBS This Morning. "I don't mean a moment to run for president but a moment when the appetite for big ideas is big enough for the size of the challenges we face in America."

Explaining his policy positions on CBS, Patrick aligned with most liberal politicians in supporting expanding health care access — but not, notably, "Medicare for all" — as well as tackling student debt in a sweeping way and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

"The anger and anxiety that I hear about and I read about and I see and I witness and listen to in all kind of corners of the country today is familiar to me for the same reasons, having grown up on the South Side of Chicago, the sense that the economy just kind of gets up and kicks you to the curb," Patrick said.

09 of 30

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang. Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Yang, the 45-year-old founder of Venture for America, had been running for president for two years when he announced shortly after the polls closed in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Feb. 11 that he was dropping out of the race.

"I am so proud of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got us here," Yang wrote on Twitter.

In another tweet, he promised that while his campaign for president was ending, "we are just getting started."

"I stand before you today and say that while we did not win this election, we are just getting started," he said. "This is the beginning."

Yang built his campaign on a pledge to provide a universal basic income of $1,000 each month for every American adult.

According to The New York Times, Yang is pushing such a policy as a response to what he believes could be an economic catastrophe wrought by increasing automation, leaving many Americans without jobs.

"I'm a capitalist," he told the paper in 2018, "and I believe that universal basic income is necessary for capitalism to continue."

"I know the country my sons will grow up in is going to be very different than the one I grew up in," Yang said on his campaign website, "and I want to look back at my life knowing I did everything in my power to create the kind of future our children deserve."

10 of 30

Sen. Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The 55-year-old Democratic senator from Colorado dropped out of the presidential race on Feb. 11, the night of the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

"I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation," he wrote on Twitter. "I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter. Tonight wasn't our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again."

Bennet, "known for his work on education and immigration reform," according to The New York Times, announced on May 2, 2019, that he was running for president while appearing on CBS This Morning.

"I have a tendency to tell the truth to the people I represent in Colorado and I want a chance to do that with the American people," he said.

According to CNN, Bennet's announcement was delayed by his prostate cancer diagnosis in April 2019 and subsequent treatment, including a successful operation.

"It was very clarifying," he said on CBS of his diagnosis. Then he pivoted back to health care, which Democrats see as a key vulnerability given President Trump's persistent attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

11 of 30

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
AP Photo/Daily Herald/Mark Black

A 58-year-old former Illinois congressman, Walsh announced in August his long-shot bid to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination.

"We can't take four more years of Donald Trump," Walsh, who became a conservative radio host, wrote on Twitter. "And that's why I'm running for President."

On Feb. 7, after failing to receive any notable amount of support from voters in the Iowa Republican caucus, he announced he was ending his campaign.

"I got into this because I thought it was really important that there was a Republican — a Republican — out there every day calling out this president for how unfit he is," Walsh said on CNN.

An erstwhile Trump supporter who changed his tune, Walsh's campaign announcement drew praise, including former Trump White House official Anthony Scaramucci, but also criticism — including from those who were quick to point back at his Trump-like rhetoric against minorities, liberals and other groups.

12 of 30

John Delaney

NIST Event
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Former Congressman John Delaney announced on Friday, Jan. 31, that he would be backing out of his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying in a statement that it became "clear that God has a different purpose for me at this moment in time."

"I leave this race with a profound sense of gratitude to the voters who shared with me their hopes and concerns for our magnificent country, in admiration for the other contenders for the nomination and proud of the work we did to change the debate," Delaney, 56, said.

Delaney served as a representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019.

He added: "Let's stop the nonsense of unrealistic and divisive campaign promises and be the party the American people need — a decent, unifying, future-focused and common-sense party. And please don't listen to the cynics, the naysayers and the dividers; while we have significant challenges and too many Americans are struggling, the world gets better every year and the United States of America has driven much of this progress — let's keep it that way."

13 of 30

Sen. Cory Booker

'First Step Act' press conference, Washington DC, USA - 19 Dec 2018

The New Jersey lawmaker said Monday he was ending his presidential bid having failed to gain traction with national or early-state voters and conspicuously missing the recent debates.

"Nearly one year ago, I got in the race for president because I believed to my core that the answer to the common pain Americans are feeling right now, the answer to Donald Trump's hatred and division, is to reignite our spirit of common purpose to take on our biggest challenges and build a more just and fair country for everyone," Booker, 50, said in an email to supporters.

"I've always believed that. I still believe that," he added, writing, "I will carry this fight forward — I just won't be doing it as a candidate for president this year."

Booker, a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, announced his campaign in February 2019. He was previously elected mayor of Newark in 2006, serving until he was elected to the Senate and assumed office in 2013.

14 of 30

Marianne Williamson


The 67-year-old self-help author and "spiritual leader" said on Jan. 10 she was leaving the 2020 race, according to The New York Times.

"I stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible opportunity to share our message," she said, per the Times. "With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now."

Williamson first announced her bid in January 2019 — "to engage voters in a more meaningful conversation about America, about our history, about how each of us fit into it and how to create a sustainable future," she said then.

She was a deeply unconventional candidate who garnered some initial attention from voters, even qualifying for the primary debate stage.

She had no traditional political, business or military experience. Her policy platform broadly aligned with the Democratic mainstream, including proposals to combat man-made climate change, reform gun laws and provide universal health care

15 of 30

Secretary Julián Castro

Julian Castro
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The former Obama-era secretary of housing and urban development announced he was suspending his campaign on Jan. 2. Castro, 45, had championed immigration reform and fighting against poverty.

"I've determined that it simply isn't our time," Castro said in a video announcement posted to Twitter. "Today it's with a heavy heart, and profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president."

Castro, who was raised by his grandmother, a Mexican immigrant, is a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights and early childhood education and, in 2010, he fought for federal funding to jumpstart green jobs. He spent five years as the mayor of San Antonio.

"I am not a frontrunner in this race, but I have not been a frontrunner at any time in my life," Castro told CNN before his official announcement. "My family's story is a testament to what is possible when this country gets it right."

16 of 30

Sen. Kamala Harris

2018 San Francisco Pride
Arun Nevader/Getty

Harris dropped out of the race on Dec. 3 after 11 months of campaiging for the Democratic nomination — in the first shocker of the 2020 race, though she had been grappling with sagging poll numbers and fundraising challenges for weeks.

"My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue," she said in a statement.

"I'm not a billionaire. I can't fund my own campaign," she said. "And as the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."

Harris, 55, entered the race to much fanfare and remained among the upper tier of candidates throughout 2019 — indeed, she had already qualified for the next debate before pulling out of the race.

Still, she drew scutiny from some progressives for her law enforcement background as a former prosecutor even as she has supported criminal justice reform, pushed for reforming bail for suspects and prioritized lowering maternal death rates, according to the New York Times.

The California Senator launched her campaign on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in early 2019, paying tribute to Shirley Chisholm, the first black Congresswoman and first black woman to seek the nomination for president for one of America's two major parties. Harris is just the second black woman to ever be elected to the U.S. Senate, after winning her seat in 2016.

17 of 30

Gov. Steve Bullock

Gov. Steve Bullock
Charlie Neibergall/REX

The 53-year-old governor of Montana announced he was suspending his campaign on Dec. 2, saying in a statement:

"While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering into this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won't be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates," he said.

On the trail, Bullock's argument for his candidacy centered on his viability to defeat President Trump given his background. "Look, I'm a pro-choice, pro-union populist Democrat that won three elections in a red state, not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done," Bullock said in the July Democratic debate. "That's how we win back the places we lost — showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of everyday Americans."

Indeed, Bullock made a name for himself as a successful Democrat in a deeply Republican state (though Montana, because of its large size and small population, has unusual political dynamics compared to the rest of the country).

Along with dropping out of the 2020 race, the term-limited governor said he wouldn't be running for the Senate but planned to "work hard to elect Democrats in the state and across the country in 2020."

18 of 30

Joe Sestak

Joe Sestak
Jeff Fusco/Getty

Joe Sestak ended his shortlived presidential campaign on Dec. 1, he announced in a statement. "I want to thank you for the honor of running for President of the United States of America," the former two-term Pennsylvania representative said. "It has been an endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America."

Sestak, 67, joined the presidential race in late June when more than 20 others were already running to win the Democratic Party's nomination. The retired three-star Navy admiral said his delay in launching his bid was because he wanted to spend time with his daughter, who was diagnosed with brain cancer but has since recovered, The New York Times reported.

Focusing on foreign policy in his announcement, Sestak also said he supported joining with other nations to fight climate change. But Sestak's campaign never really got off the ground, he acknowledged in the announcement suspending his campaign some five months later.

"Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer," Sestak said. "I deeply appreciate the support so many of you offered."

19 of 30

Mayor Wayne Messam


Messam, 45, announced he was leaving the race on Nov. 20.

"I have not given up hope," he said in a statement at the time. "I know the Promise of America is still for all of us. We all can take a stand to ensure the American Dream that attracted my parents and so many others to this great nation can still be achieved."

Messam launched his campaigin in March and outlasted some of his better-known rivals in the 2020 race. But he never made even a moderate impression with Democratic voters and never qualified for any of the debates.

The mayor of a mid-sized South Florida city and son of Jamaican immigrants (and former college football star), Messam covered many key Democratic priorities with his platform, including gun reform and efforts to fight climate change, lower student debt and curb healthcare spending.

But he argued that his outsider's status as a local politician was a boon, not a hindrance.

20 of 30

Gov. Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford
William Thomas Cain/Getty

The longer-than-longshot candidacy of the former South Carolina governor to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination in the 2020 election came to an end on Nov. 12.

"I am suspending my race for the Presidency because impeachment has made my goal of making the debt, deficit and spending issue a part of this presidential debate impossible right now," Sanford said in a statement, according to CNN.

"From day one, I was fully aware of how hard it would be to elevate these issues with a sitting president of my own party ignoring them," he continued. "Impeachment noise has moved what was hard to herculean as nearly everything in Republican Party politics is currently viewed through the prism of impeachment."

Sanford was only in the presidential race for a few weeks, having first announced his bid in September. He failed to gain traction — or to regularly draw much attention at all from Republican voters.

A former congressman after he left office as governor, Sanford's career has its own controversies: He infamously admitted to an affair in 2009.

21 of 30

Beto O'Rourke

Texas Democratic Convention, Fort Worth, USA - 22 Jun 2018
Richard W. Rodriguez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The former Texas representative — who got a Vanity Fair cover story in early 2019 before announcing a presidential bid that failed to break through the crowded field — on Nov. 1 said he was ending his candidacy.

"Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country," he wrote in a post on Medium.

Pointing to his policy proposals, including a bold and controversial gun buyback program to address widespread gun violence, O'Rourke, 47, wrote, "We should be proud of what we fought for and what we were able to achieve. Together we were able to help change what is possible when it comes to the policies that we care about and the country we want to serve."

22 of 30

Rep. Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan
Zach Gibson/Getty

On Oct. 24, the 45-year-old longtime representative from Ohio said he was ending his presidential campaign about six months after it began.

In that time, he never broke out of the bottom tier of candidates.

"I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country: The workers who have been left behind, the businesses who have been left behind, the people who need health care or aren't getting a quality education, or are saddled by tremendous debt," Ryan said in a video of his decision, according to CNN.

"I'm proud of this campaign because I believe we've done that. We've given voice to the forgotten communities and the forgotten people in the United States."

23 of 30

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio
Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

New York City's mayor announced Friday that, having failed to leap from the lower tier of presidential candidates, he would be dropping out of the race.

"I feel like I've contributed all I can to this primary campaign, and it's clearly not my time," he said in an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, according to The New York Times. "I'm going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City, and I'm going to keep speaking up for working people."

De Blasio, 58, had focused on worker's issues and a vow to tax the wealthy, according to the Times, but even New Yorkers were unenthused about his bid.

President Trump, who shares New York roots with de Blasio, could not resist a dig at the mayor.

24 of 30

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand, 52, dropped out of the race nearly eight months after announcing her plans to run for the presidency.

The Democratic candidate and New York senator announced the news in a video on Twitter on Aug. 28 and explained that her decision came as a result of "knowing how you can best serve your community and country."

"Our work is not done and we have a clear mission in front of us," she said in her video. "We have to defeat President Trump, flip the Senate and elect women up and down the ballot."

A fierce supporter of equality and women's rights, Gillibrand was outspoken against Trump and his administration and vowed to advocate for family's economic security and solutions on gun violence and climate change.

Her decision to drop out came ahead of the third Democratic debate on Sept. 12, as Gillibrand was failing to meet the DNC's donor and polling requirements.

Besides her insufficient funding, Gillibrand also lacked public support, polling at less than 2 percent nationally.

25 of 30

Rep. Seth Moulton

Rep. Seth Moulton
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The 40-year-old Marine Corps veteran and Massachusetts lawmaker announced on Aug. 23 he was ending his four-month campaign for the presidency.

"I think it's evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders," he told the Times, describing the question for voters as one about how fully to embrace progressive politics.

A more centrist Democrat who had made headlines last year unsuccessfully seeking to challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership, Moulton launched his campaign in April touting his own military service.

"I am running because I am a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I have never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it," Moulton said on Good Morning America.

In August, in withdrawing, Moulton told the Times he would instead seek another term in the House.

According to his website, Moulton is supportive of paid family leave and the Green New Deal to combat climate change and wants to expand government-backed health care as an option for all consumers.

26 of 30

Gov. Jay Inslee

Election 2020 Inslee, Manchester, USA - 22 Jan 2019
Mary Schwalm/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Washington governor, 68, announced his candidacy on March 1 with a clear message: He wasn't afraid to talk about climate change, vowing to make it America's "No. 1 priority."

On Aug. 21, not quite six months later, Inslee announced he was withdrawing from the 2020 presidential race but remained committed to combatting climate change.

"As disappointing as this is, it is only right to recognize what we have accomplished and how far we have come together," he wrote on Twitter. He dropped out a few weeks before the next scheduled Democratic debate, for which he was unlikely to qualify.

The Associated Press soon reported that Inslee was preparing to launch a re-election bid for his third term as governor.

27 of 30

Gov. John Hickenlooper

Lawmakers Return, Philadelphia, USA - 25 Jul 2016
J Scott Applewhite/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The former governor of Colorado kicked off his presidential campaign in March, describing himself as a "pragmatic progressive."

"Ultimately I'm running for president because I believe that not only can I beat Donald Trump, but that I am the person that can bring people together on the other side and actually get stuff done," Hickenlooper said on Good Morning America. "The division is keeping us from addressing big issues like climate change and the soaring costs of health care."

The Democrat, who was the mayor of Denver, a geologist and a restaurateur before serving as governor from 2011 to 2019, pulled the plug on his bid in August.

"In almost every regard, this journey has been more exciting and more rewarding than I ever imagined, although of course I did imagine a very different conclusion," he said in a video announcing his decision to drop out of the race.

"I ran for president because this country is being ripped apart by politics and partisan games while our biggest problems go unsolved. Now today, I'm ending my campaign for president but I will never stop believing America can only move forward when we work together."

As for what's next, Hickenlooper said he would give "some serious thought" to a Senate run.

28 of 30

Sen. Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel
Charles Dharapak/AP/Shutterstock

The 89-year-old former senator from Alaska led a brief — and rather nontraditional — campaign before dropping out in August.

Gravel, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008, first as a Democrat and then as a Libertarian, was convinced to run by a pair of teenagers and announced his candidacy by claiming he only wanted to make it to the debate stage in order to "push the field left."

Despite a viral, Twitter-heavy campaign run by the 18-year-olds, one a high school senior and the other a freshman at Columbia University, Gravel failed to qualify for the first debate in June and missed the polling mark for the second debate a month later.

He dropped out Aug. 6 and has since endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

"I'm proud and honored to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for the presidency of the United States," he said in a Twitter video. "Bernie has a program that benefits all Americans — not just the 1 percent. He will be a great president for all Americans."

29 of 30

Rep. Eric Swalwell

Watchdog Report Clinton Email, Washington, USA - 19 Jun 2018
Jacquelyn Martin/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A long-shot when he announced he was running in April, Swalwell stuck out his campaign until July, when he became the first candidate who had made it onto the debate stage to then drop out of the race.

The California congressman, 38, was heavily focused on gun violence prevention (he proposed a gun buyback program), climate change, health care and the student debt crisis.

He said he was calling it quits after his polling and fundraising numbers fell short, but he promised to continue fighting for a safer nation.

"After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren't what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination," he said. "My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran."

30 of 30

Richard Ojeda

Richard Ojeda
John Sommers II/Getty

Ojeda threw his hat into the ring for the presidency in November after losing his congressional candidacy bid in West Virginia.

A former Army paratrooper who resigned as a state Senator to focus on his campaign, Ojeda voted for Trump in 2016 but made it clear his opinions on the president had soured.

"I think I relate to the people far more than what the president can ever relate to these people," he said upon announcing his campaign. "The very people he comes down to West Virginia and stands in front of could never afford one single round of gold in some of his fancy country clubs. That's not where I stand."

Ojeda, 48, eventually dropped out of the race in late January, writing in a statement that he did not want to accept money from people for a campaign "that does not have the ability to compete.

"I want you to know that my fight does not end. I may not have the money to make the media pay attention, but I will continue raising my voice and highlighting the issues the working class, the sick and the elderly face in this nation," he wrote.

Updated by
Joelle Goldstein
JG Headshot

Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for nearly five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!)

Sean Neumann

Sean Neumann is a journalist from Chicago, Ill.

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