Deval Patrick drops out of 2020 race
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Wednesday announced he is suspending his campaign amid anemic poll numbers and a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.
Though he campaigned with a platform of uniting progressive and centrist camps after a late launch in November, Patrick’s message failed to catch on in a race dominated by better known national figures. His finish in New Hampshire, where he failed to crack 1 percent in a state that was supposedly friendly territory for a former governor from a neighboring state, ultimately ended his 2020 ambitions.
Patrick said in a statement announcing his withdrawal that he still believes his record as governor dealing with health care, the Boston Marathon bombing and other issues made an effective case for his candidacy, but he did not have the momentum necessary to move forward.
“I believed and still believe we had a strong case to make for being able to deliver better outcomes,” he said. “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. So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately.”
Patrick’s withdrawal from the race leaves Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) as the sole candidate of color remaining in the 2020 primary field, a stark shift from what was once the most racially diverse crowd in modern history.
The Massachusetts Democrat dismissed speculation that he entered the field too late with his November launch and urged supporters to continue exercising their right to vote in the primary and caucus battles ahead.
“As I hope you know, I entered this race when I could, and not a moment before I should have. More importantly, I entered the race months before anyone had cast a vote,” he said.
“Political outcomes are entirely up to voters. I encourage you to keep on respecting their power to make their hopes a reality — even when the media confuses its essential responsibility to report what happens with its extraordinary power to influence what will,” he said.
Patrick, who had cast himself as a centrist during his short-lived campaign, called on Democrats to try to find common ground both with Republicans and progressives, saying only an open and united party can win in November.
“Democrats don’t have to hate Republicans to be good Democrats. We don’t have to hate business to fight for social justice or to hate police to believe black lives matter. In that same spirit, we don’t have to hate moderation to be a good progressive,” he said.
“We cannot, and will not, defeat Donald Trump by relying exclusively on old labels, poll-tested messages and cable news hits. We must meet people where they are and ask them to do the same for us,” Patrick said.
Updated at 12:30 p.m.