Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City who entered the Democratic presidential race on the premise that his brand of urban progressive leadership could appeal on a national scale, said on Friday that he was ending his candidacy.
De Blasio’s announcement came as it became clear he was unlikely to qualify for the fourth Democratic debate next month, cementing the notion that he lacked the support and funds to sustain his bid.
“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary campaign, and it’s clearly not my time, so I’m going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City, and I’m going to keep speaking up for working people,” he said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
De Blasio focused his campaign on improving the lives of “working people,” proposing a “workers’ Bill of Rights” to guarantee Americans paid time off and medical leave, and then vowed to “tax the hell” out of the wealthy to pay for it.
He attempted to position himself as the most suitable Democrat to take on President Trump, given his familiarity with Trump as a real estate magnate in New York. De Blasio branded the president “Con Don,” and highlighted how he had already fought the Trump administration on everything from climate change to immigration.
None of it worked.
De Blasio’s campaign was seen as a quixotic, 100-to-1 shot from its inception and it never gained traction, not even in New York. Flyers appeared at de Blasio’s gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn, urging him not to run (and to wipe the gym equipment after he finished using it).
A recent poll by Siena College of registered New York State Democrats found that less than 1 percent favored the mayor as the Democratic nominee.
He reported raising only $1.1 million during his first campaign finance filing, and much of that money came from the sole city union supporting him, which, like some of de Blasio’s other donors, had or could have business before the city.
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., a city with the population of a few square blocks in Manhattan, raised twice as much money from New York City residents as de Blasio raised nationally during one fundraising period.