Who Has Dropped Out of Presidential Race? Seth Moulton Is Fourth Democrat to End Bid This Summer

Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton announced on Friday that he was ending his bid for president, becoming the fourth Democratic candidate to end his campaign this summer and leaving a mere 21 candidates in the race.

"I think it's evident that this is now a three-way race between [Joe] Biden, [Elizabeth] Warren and [Bernie] Sanders, and really it's a debate about how far left the party should go," Moulton said, according to The New York Times. He cautioned, however, that he thought a more left-leaning candidate would make Democrats' attempts to unseat President Donald Trump more difficult.

Richard Ojeda, a former West Virginia state senator, dropped his presidential campaign in January, less than two weeks after he announced it. California Representative Eric Swalwell was the first candidate to drop out this summer. He gave up his bid in July and is seeking reelection in the House. Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper followed earlier this month, and announced on Thursday that he was launching a Senate campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Cory Gardner. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who made his mark by running on a platform centered around climate change, dropped out of the race on Wednesday. He sent supporters an email on Thursday saying that he would run for a third term as governor.

"I want to continue to stand with you in opposing Donald Trump and rejecting his hurtful and divisive agenda, while strengthening and enhancing Washington State's role as a progressive beacon for the nation," he wrote in the email to supporters.

Of the candidates who have dropped out, Inslee had the most distinctive platform and appears to have influenced policy discussions the most. Inslee's campaign was, from the start, a long-shot in a crowded field with many names that drew more instant recognition. But his climate plan was detailed and thorough, and he directly challenged other candidates on their policies toward climate change, going so far as to accuse Joe Biden of denying scientific evidence. Other candidates followed Inselee's lead, releasing their own bold plans to address climate change, and Inslee's focus drew recognition from other candidates.

"I don't think we'd be having the kind of climate debate that we're having if it weren't for Jay Inslee," Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is one of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination, told reporters on Wednesday. "I really appreciate what he added to this campaign, and hope that he's going to stay in the fight for what he believes in."

Seth Moulton
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton speaks during the Democratic Presidential Committee summer meeting on August 23. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images