Hop off the ‘Gillibrandwagon' — Gillibrand resigns from 2020 race

Joel Bautista | The Ticker

Joel Bautista | The Ticker

New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Aug. 28. She was unable to meet the fundraising quota and polling requirement to qualify for the third Democratic debate that is set to occur in September, with only about $800,000 in funds left and polling at under 1% according to the New York Times article that broke the news.

“She wanted to know that she was doing everything she can to be part of the smaller group that was on the September and October debate stage, so when that didn't come together, she knew it might not be her time,” said a Gillibrand campaign aide, as reported by CNN.

Gillibrand said herself that if she wasn’t able to attend the third set of debates that her bid for nominee would be over, but now that it has actually happened, it is likely going to affect the other candidates’ campaigns in a few ways.

One foreseeable way is that there’s now just a little bit more room on the debate stage for all of the other candidates. At its peak, the Democratic race was a competition between 26 people — a mix of senators, mayors, governors and house representatives. 

Now there are 20 Democrats still in the running with Gillibrand having been the most recent person to close her campaign.

With Gillibrand out of the race, it will give the other 20 candidates a slightly large stake of the public’s attention. Less candidates running means more television airtime for each candidate and more interviews can be directed toward each of them. This will benefit the 20 Democrats running significantly, even if they respected the senator and her ideas. The fewer slices of pie, the bigger each slice gets to be.

Another way that Gillibrand withdrawing from the race can affect the other remaining candidates is that it opens up the opportunity for any of them to become the new “women and children’s rights” candidate. The senator’s central campaign focus, as well as her primary concern while in Congress, was women’s issues such as the wage gap and the fight to preserve abortion as an option for American women.

“Ms. Gillibrand, 52, had anchored her candidacy in issues of women’s equality with a strong emphasis on abortion rights,” the before-mentioned New York Times article stated. “She pledged to screen nominees for judgeships based on their support for the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and held rallies in two Republican-leaning states, Georgia and Missouri, where conservative lawmakers recently passed new restrictions on the procedure.”

Since Gillibrand is no longer campaigning for the nomination, all the other Democrats running can take this chance to brand themselves as the new women’s rights activist of the debate stage.Of course, all the Democrats running have liberal views on the ideas of abortion and paid family leave, but a candidate can still try to set themselves apart by making their whole campaign centered around this subject, like Gillibrand had, unsuccessfully, been trying to do. Washington Governor Jay Inslee had done this with climate change and global warming, and former tech executive Andrew Yang is known for discussing artificial intelligence.

If a lesser-known candidate labels themselves the woman’s rights advocate in a unique and clever way, it might help them to become more recognizable and maybe even gain them some more votes in the polls. 

In any case, the announcement of retracting their bid for the nomination from any candidate can affect the rest of the candidates in some small ways, but there’s only a handful of candidates whose withdrawal from the race would create any big changes, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.