Seth Moulton drops out of 2020 presidential race

Jason Lalljee

Rep. Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps officer who has served in the U.S. House since 2015, has ended his bid for the White House.

Moulton's office said he will be announcing his departure from the 2020 presidential race during the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting on Friday.

"I want to use this opportunity , with all of you here, to announce that I am ending my campaign for president," Moulton is expected to say, according to his prepared remarks. "Though this campaign is not ending the way we hoped, I am leaving this race knowing that we raised issues that are vitally important to the American people and our future."

Moulton, 40, announced his bid for the presidency in April. He became the third Massachusetts politician to do so after fellow Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former governor William Weld, the only candidate challenging the incumbent president for the Republican party’s nomination. 

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"I'm running because we have to beat Donald Trump, and I want us to beat Donald Trump because I love this country. We've never been a country that gets everything right. But we're a country that, at our best, thinks that we might," Moulton said in his candidacy announcement video, in which he also outlined a campaign focused on veterans issues and voting rights. 

But his candidacy never took off. Moulton was one of three candidates who did not qualify for any of the three Democratic presidential debates. 

In March, about a week before announcing his candidacy, Moulton called for wholesale electoral reform, naming voting access as a key platform in his eventual presidential run. The plan included proposed automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights for convicted felons, and granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. 

In 2018, Moulton garnered attention by leading the charge against Nancy Pelosi’s bid to again become speaker of the House. Less than 24 hours after the midterm elections ended, Moulton was campaigning with House members to discuss alternative leadership. He received backlash from critics who touted his efforts against Pelosi as ageist and sexist. 

Rep. Seth Moulton (D, MA) greets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) before being ceremonially sworn in to Congress on January 3, 2019 in Washington D.C.

Ultimately, Moulton backed Pelosi, who was re-elected.

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During the 2018 midterm season, Moulton landed on the radar as a presidential hopeful by endorsing dozens of Democratic candidates running in contentious key states.

He raised $225,000 during the first quarter of his campaign and $1.2 million during the second, far behind the fundraising totals of top tier candidates, or even those without political backgrounds such as self-help author Marianne Williamson, who raised $1.5 million during the second quarter of her campaign. 

Trump weighed in on Moulton's exit from the race this afternoon, seeming to allude to Moulton's low polling numbers on Twitter. 

Trump tied Moulton's bow from the race to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by more than 400 points this morning, although stocks had fallen sharply following his own comments that U.S. companies should stop doing business in China.