ALTOONA, Iowa — Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland on Friday announced he was ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, just days before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.
Mr. Delaney’s campaign said he likely would not hit the 15% “viability” threshold in a number of caucus precincts, which candidates need to meet in order to win any delegates, but that he could end up pulling support away from more moderate candidates.
“It has been a privilege to campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, but it is clear that God has a different purpose for me at this moment in time,” Mr. Delaney said in a statement.
He thanked his team members and said his campaign had consistently focused on the economy, providing opportunities for young people, restoring “unity” and “common purpose” to the country and re-engaging the U.S. as a global leader.
“Let’s stop the nonsense of unrealistic and divisive campaign promises and be the party the American people need — a decent, unifying, future-focused and common-sense party,” Mr. Delaney said.
The millionaire businessman first announced his presidential bid in July 2017 and plowed a good deal of his own resources into his campaign.
He had put down significant roots in Iowa but failed to gain much traction in public polling or attract much in the way of independent fundraising.
Mr. Delaney had tried to cast the far-reaching health care visions of candidates such as Sens. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as too unworkable and unrealistic.
But he was not alone in that regard, with better-polling candidates such as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota delivering similar messages.