The Iowa Caucus brought a close finish at the top of the Democratic ticket, but it was only a two-way race. After finishing a distant third with about one percent of the vote, Martin O’Malley ended his presidential campaign.
O’Malley’s campaign started by pushing to the left of Hillary Clinton. At his Federal Hill announcement, he talked about reforming policing and Wall Street. In a statement that seems like a relic at this point, he also talked about how the election shouldn’t be a coronation for two ruling political families.
Seven months later, it’s clear that O’Malley wasn’t enough of an outsider to shake up the race this time around. Sen. Bernie Sanders took the progressive mantle over the summer. On the Republican side, the focus is on the populist outrage of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz instead of whether another Bush should be elected.
O’Malley stuck with climate change and immigration reform as he pressed on with the campaign, and debates, but he still struggled to get out of single digits in the polls. And yes, he tried all the gimmicks.
As he announced the end of his campaign, most of the content of the speech was familiar, except the opening.
“Tonight I have to tell you that I am ending this presidential bid, but I am not ending this fight,” he told the crowd.
He could put that fight toward supporting a Clinton or Sanders candidacy. Or, as others including Jayne Miller have pointed out, there’s still two days left to file for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski.