John Delaney drops out of Democratic presidential race

Jan 31, 2020, 10:36 AM
ALTOONA, IA - AUGUST 21:Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) ...
ALTOONA, IA - AUGUST 21:Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) speaks at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on August 21, 2019 in Altoona, Iowa. Candidates had 10 minutes each to address union members during the convention. The 2020 Democratic presidential Iowa caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Former Rep. John Delaney announced Friday that he’s dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, ending a long-shot bid that saw the Maryland Democrat spend millions of his own fortune only to fail to gain any traction in the 2020 race.

Delaney, who announced his campaign in summer 2017, had planned to stake his campaign on success in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest. But the Democrat ultimately opted to drop out three days before the caucuses.

Visit CNN’s Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race

“It’s clear to me on Monday, on caucus night, I will not have sufficient support to get to the 15% viability threshold … that is needed to get delegates out of Iowa,” Delaney told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

Delaney did not endorse another Democrat for president but vowed to support the party’s eventual nominee, whoever it is. He said his decision was motivated in part to make sure moderate candidates have a better shot at succeeding in Iowa.

“My support is sufficient enough to take from other more moderate candidates, and I just don’t want to do that,” he said.

But Delaney cautioned against nominating either Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, whom he believes are too liberal and would have “a tougher campaign against Donald Trump” in a general election.

“Their proposal takes health care away from a lot of people and forces them on some new government plan. That’s a hard way to win an election,” Delaney said.

John Delaney tried to push moderate message

The end of Delaney’s campaign has been in view for months, ever since the candidate failed to garner support in any polls and slowed the ad spending that had defined his early campaigning.

Delaney, after qualifying for the first two Democratic debates in June and July, failed to garner enough support to qualify for any subsequent contests.

His presidential strategy was unlike nearly all of his competitors. Delaney, a self-made millionaire who took two companies public, announced his presidential bid in July 2017, over a year before the majority of the field entered the race.

But Delaney’s bid, even when he was one of the only candidates in the race, failed to gain any traction. As the race filled out around him, Delaney was squeezed even more, largely pushing on with little fanfare.

Delaney, a moderate lawmaker who previously represented Maryland’s wealthy Washington, DC, suburbs, staked his strategy on speaking truth to progressive power. Delaney said Sanders was “not a Democrat,” he railed against the party “embracing socialism,” and he slammed the Green New Deal, a sweeping climate change plan that is popular with the party’s left.

What Delaney lacked in fundraising — over 90% of the money he brought in during the second quarter of 2019 came from his own bank account — he attempted to make up for in travel. He logged dozens of trips to Iowa and New Hampshire during his lengthy run and, before most candidates were even in the race, he visited all 99 of Iowa’s counties.

“I think the American people are yearning for someone who’s a truth-teller,” Delaney told CNN last year. “Sometimes the best way to make that point is to be a little bit disagreement with your own party, right?”

But, by fall 2019, even his closest advisers knew things were coming to an end.

John Davis, Delaney’s one-time campaign manager, and Will McDonald, his spokesman, cut ties with the campaign in October. Delaney’s Iowa State Director Monica Biddix and New Hampshire State Director Chris Mackenzie also left the campaign in September.

Today’s Top Stories


Jeff Gray is pictured. Photo credit: Jeff Gray Campaign Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts and Samantha Herrera

Jeff Gray to bring back death penalty after becoming presumptive next Utah County Attorney

In the race for Utah County Attorney, prosecutor Jeff Gray beat incumbent David Leavitt and is expected to take office in January.
2 days ago
A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Mo...
Becky Bruce

The Utah primary election is expected to be ‘pretty normal’

Tuesday's primary election in Utah is expected to be about average for a midterm election.
4 days ago
A voter fills in the ballot on the voting machine during the Election Day voting at Vivint Smart Ho...
Lindsay Aerts

State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — The State Elections Office says all of the state’s voting machines are working correctly ahead of Primary Election Day Tuesday. This comes after Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, made claims on social media, that some of the machines were changing people’s votes. Screenshot of Lyman’s social media post. Lyman posted on Facebook […]
4 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Waverly Golden

Planned Parenthood of Utah files lawsuit against the state

Utah's Trigger Law saw its first challenge on Saturday as Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit to block the law that went into effect Friday evening.
5 days ago
marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...
Mark Jones

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, could same-sex marriage be next?

Many people are wondering what precedents the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on next, possibly same-sex marriage. Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says the court could do so it wishes.
7 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Mark Jones

S.B. 174 now in effect in Utah with Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Utah trigger law, known as S.B. 174 is now in effect in the state.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
John Delaney drops out of Democratic presidential race