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Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Ends Bid For Democratic Presidential Nomination

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has ended his campaign for president.
John Locher
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has ended his campaign for president.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan has ended his struggling bid for the Democratic presidential nomination after failing to qualify for the past two primary debates.

"I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country. I look forward to continuing that fight," Ryan said Thursday in a tweet.

The nine-term congressman becomes the seventh candidate to end his or her bid, now bringing the total Democrats in the field to 18.

Ryan's centrist pitch to voters didn't resonate in a year where most of the electorate was clamoring for a more progressive candidate. The Democrat emphasized his Midwestern roots in a state President Trump had carried.

And he took populist stands, arguing that the party needed to care more about blue-collar voters and the economic impact that trade and the loss of manufacturing jobs had on the region – a big part of why Trump won in 2016. Without modifying positions, Ryan believed Democrats would perform poorly in the Rust Belt states again, assuring Trump of a second term.

Ryan did qualify for both the June and July debates, where he allied with other moderates to attack more liberal candidates on their policies such as "Medicare for All." However, he never hit more than 1% in a poll and didn't amass enough donors, either, to qualify for future debates. He raised only $426,000 in the third quarter.

The congressman's exit is his second major failure at moving up the party leadership structure. After the 2016 elections, Ryan mounted an ultimately failed bid against Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to become House minority leader, criticizing her for being too disconnected from working class Americans.

Ryan was seeking to become the first House member to go straight from Congress to the White House since James Garfield.

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Jessica Taylor is a political reporter with NPR based in Washington, DC, covering elections and breaking news out of the White House and Congress. Her reporting can be heard and seen on a variety of NPR platforms, from on air to online. For more than a decade, she has reported on and analyzed House and Senate elections and is a contributing author to the 2020 edition of The Almanac of American Politics and is a senior contributor to The Cook Political Report.
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