There are, at last count, 1,487 people running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Actually, there are 16. More than half of them barely register on surveys of voters. Take the latest CNN poll: Only four candidates reach double figures, with all the rest in single digits — and a few at zero.
Enter two guys you didn’t even know were running who have now announced that they’re dropping out.
One is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who announced on Monday that he is ending his campaign, saying “it’s become clear that he won’t have a shot at being his party’s nominee,” the Associated Press reports.
“The two-term governor and former state attorney general tried to make the case that he was the best bet to beat President Donald Trump because he was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 2016. But he got a late start, announcing his candidacy in May and joining nearly two dozen other Democratic candidates competing for attention and campaign donations,” said the AP.
In that CNN poll, Bullock registered at 0% in a June poll, then skyrocketed to 1% in a August poll, but then dropped back to 0% for the next three months.
That led Bullock to an epiphany.
“While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates,” Bullock said in a statement. “I entered this race as a voice to win back the places we lost, bridge divides and rid our system of the corrupting influence of dark money. While the concerns that propelled me to enter in the first place have not changed, I leave this race filled with gratitude and optimism, inspired and energized by the good people I’ve had the privilege of meeting over the course of the campaign.”
Then there’s Joe Sestak. He polled at 0% throughout the CNN surveys. He blamed the media.
“Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer,” Sestak told supporters by email, NBC News reported.
“I want to thank you for the honor of running for President of the United States of America,” said the retired three-star U.S. Navy admiral who served for two terms as congressman from Pennsylvania. “It has been an endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America.”
“A moral compass for our great ship of state is the beacon most needed today. And it is for the Captain of State who offers it that all Americans will provide the fair winds and following seas to advance us,” Sestak added. “That is necessary for us both at home and abroad, to convene the world to advance our policies and commitment to democratic values for our collective good.”
In his campaign, Sestak hauled in less than $500,000.
There are now 12 Democrats who have dropped out, including two other guys you’ve never heard of, Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Fla., and Richard Ojeda, a former West Virginia state senator.