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Eric Swalwell drops out of presidential race; Tom Steyer jumping in

Swalwell appeared in the first debate last month, but has struggled in the polls. Steyer previously said he would not run.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell announced Monday he is ending his presidential bid. 

He's the first candidate since last month's debate to exit the Democratic presidential primary for president. The Los Angeles Times reports Swalwell will instead run for a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last week, Swalwell abruptly cancelled plans to campaign in New Hampshire.

Swalwell appeared in the first debate on June 27, but failed at generating enough momentum to continue his campaign. 

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock missed the threshold for last month's debate but was ahead of Swalwell in the competition for this month's televised Democratic faceoff before the four-term California congressman exited the primary.

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In a Real Clear Politics polling average, Swalwell had near 0% support. 

The 38-year-old Bay Area congressman ran primarily on increasing gun control in the wake of numerous mass shootings. 

Swalwell would be the second Democrat to leave the race. West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda ran a brief campaign, but bowed out in January. He stated he didn't feel right asking people to donate to a campaign that was struggling to gain any traction.

Swalwell's departure comes as fellow Californian Tom Steyer is making preparations to enter the race, according to the Times. The billionaire and former hedge-fund chief plans to run the Democratic nomination this week. These plans are despite Steyer's previous announcement in January that he would not run for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Swalwell dropping out would leave 24 Democrats in the race -- at least until Steyer jumps in. Joe Biden remains the front-runner in the polls following the first debate, but his lead narrowed considerably following a direct line of attack by Sen. Kamala Harris on the second night of the June debate.

Credit: AP
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. speaks during a forum on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)


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