The good news is that Eric Swalwell did not lose any support after the first Democratic debates. The bad news is that he was polling at 0% before the debates. He has become the first Democrat to drop out of the race.
The voters impeached him. But Swalwell has bigger problems than the fact that no one in America would vote for him for president. His reelection to the House is deeply endangered. Swalwell will run for re-election for his congressional seat in the 15th District of California but faces a potentially fierce primary fight from Hayward council member Aisha Wahab.
Wahab is a fierce progressive and many Democrat incumbents could be defeated in the primaries.
This is not good news for Democrats. It might work in deeply blue districts but extremely radical candidates don’t fare too well in districts that are more evenly divided.
The Democrats won the House by winning many seats in Republican territory and they could lose all of them in 2020 just like they did in 2010. That is why Pelosi has been trying to rein in the Axis of Evil and has fought against impeachment. She wants to continue as Speaker.
Swalwell’s pro-gun control platform failed to gain traction, despite several aggressive policy promises, including a ban on AR-15s. The California Democrat’s repeated attacks on the National Rifle Association (NRA), though cheered by gun control activists, did little to boost his lagging candidacy.
“On the issue of gun violence, I am the champion who is saying enough is enough, and that has to be a top priority. We can’t just respond to the last mass shooting. I want to challenge our candidates to make it a priority too,” Swalwell told The Hill in an interview last month.
Throughout the course of his short-lived campaign, the congressman also attempted to position himself as a young alternative to ex-Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), urging the former to “pass the torch” during the first round of Democrat debates in Miami, Flordia.
“If we are going to solve the issue, pass the torch. If we are going to solve climate chaos, pass the torch. If we want to end gun violence and solve student debt, pass the torch,” said Swalwell to a collective gasp from the audience.
A defiant Biden hit back at the lawmaker, declaring: “I’m holding onto that torch. I want to make it clear.”