| 9.8°C Belfast

Elizabeth Warren’s withdrawal ends realistic hopes of woman president in January

Tulsi Gabbard remains a candidate but it looks certain that Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders will face Donald Trump in November.

Close

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Patrick Semansky/Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Patrick Semansky/Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Patrick Semansky/Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Elizabeth Warren’s withdrawal from the Democratic primary race almost certainly means a man will take the oath of office next January after November’s presidential election.

Although Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race, she has only one delegate after Super Tuesday in a contest which now seems to be a straight duel between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders for the prize of facing Donald Trump in November’s election.

After Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral college to Mr Trump in 2016, it means that the US’s wait for a first female occupant of the Oval Office looks set to continue.

Ms Warren has spoken with Mr Sanders and Mr Biden, the leading candidates in the race, according to their campaigns and is deciding who to back.

Ms Warren said she would not decide who to endorse on Thursday.

“I need some space and I need a little time right now,” she said, standing next to her husband, Bruce Mann, and golden retriever, Bailey.

Ms Warren’s voice cracked when she talked about meeting so many little girls while campaigning around the country for the past year and knowing they “are going to have to wait four more years”, at least, to see a woman in the White House.

For much of the past year, her campaign had all the markers of success, robust poll numbers, impressive fundraising and a sprawling political infrastructure that featured staffers on the ground across the country.

She was squeezed out, though, by Mr Sanders, who had an immovable base of voters she needed to advance.

Ms Warren’s campaign began with enormous promise that she could carry that momentum into the presidential race.

US Election
(PA Graphics)

Last summer, she drew tens of thousands of supporters to Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, a scene that was repeated in places like Washington state and Minnesota.

She had a compelling message, calling for “structural change” to the American political system to reorder the nation’s economy in the name of fairness.

She had a signature populist proposal for a 2% wealth tax she wanted to impose on households worth more than 50 million US dollars that prompted chants of “Two cents! Two cents!” at rallies across the country.

Trump Virus Outbreak
President Donald Trump awaits the winner of the Democratic primaries (Evan Vucci/AP)

Ms Warren, 70, began her White House bid polling near the back of an impossibly crowded field, used wonky policy prowess to rocket to front-runner status by the autumn, then saw her support evaporate almost as quickly.

Her candidacy appeared seriously damaged almost before it started after she released a DNA test in response to goading by Mr Trump to prove she had Native American ancestry.

Instead of quieting critics who had questioned her claims, however, the test offended many tribal leaders who rejected undergoing the genetic test as culturally insensitive, and it did not stop Mr Trump and other Republicans from gleefully deriding her as Pocahontas.

Ms Warren also lost her finance director over her refusal to attend large fundraisers, long considered the financial life blood of national campaigns.

Still, she distinguished herself by releasing dozens of detailed proposals on all sorts of policies from cancelling college debt to protecting oceans to containing Covid-19.

Ms Warren also was able to build an impressive campaign war chest relying on mostly small donations that poured in from across the country, erasing the deficit created by refusing to court big, traditional donors.

As her polling began improving through the summer, Ms Warren appeared to further hit her stride as she hammered the idea that more moderate Democratic candidates, including Mr Biden, were not ambitious enough to roll back Mr Trump’s policies and were too reliant on political consultants and fickle polling.

And she drew strength in the #MeToo era, especially after a wave of female candidates helped Democrats take control of the US House in 2018.

Mr Trump taunted Ms Warren and claimed she had damaged the hopes of Mr Sanders.

The president tweeted: “Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, who was going nowhere except into Mini Mike’s (Bloomberg) head, just dropped out of the Democrat Primary…Three days to late. She cost Crazy Bernie (Sanders), at least, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas. Probably cost him the nomination! Came in third in Mass.”

PA