Warren to drop out of 2020 race, setting up one-on-one showdown between Sanders, Biden

Elizabeth Warren is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race after a disappointing Super Tuesday performance — a move that could boost Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign by making him the lone progressive standard-bearer in the Democratic field.

The decision, first reported by The New York Times, essentially leaves the race as a one-on-one battle between Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is surging after claiming a stunning 10 victories on Super Tuesday. She was holding a late-morning all-staff call to tell members of her campaign about her decision.

Warren’s move comes after a disappointing performance on the biggest day of primary voting. Moderate candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out in the days before, boosting Biden to a delegate lead and essentially co-frontrunner status with Sanders. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg, another moderate, dropped out of the race on Wednesday and endorsed Biden.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a primary election night rally, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Eastern Market in Detroit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a primary election night rally, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Eastern Market in Detroit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Pressure from the left swiftly grew on Warren to drop out, in order to help Sanders consolidate progressive support.

The Warren campaign shared a message with supporters on Wednesday that indicated she might be considering leaving the race.

“Last night, we fell well short of our viability goals and projections, and we are disappointed in the results,” wrote campaign manager Roger Lau. “All of us have worked for Elizabeth long enough to know that she isn’t a lifetime politician and doesn’t think like one. She’s going to take time right now to think through the right way to continue this fight. There’s a lot at stake for this country and the millions of people who are falling further and further behind.

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“This decision is in her hands, and it’s important that she has the time and space to consider what comes next,” Lau continued.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard remains in the race, but has performed poorly in the primaries.

The Massachusetts senator had earned 65 delegates to the Democratic National Convention as of Thursday morning — far fewer than either Biden or Sanders who each had over 500 delegates after their Super Tuesday showings.

President Trump commented on Warren’s post-Super Tuesday exit from the Democratic primary race, speculating that because she apparently split the progressive vote with Sanders on the biggest day of the primary campaign that she may eventually cost the democratic socialist senator the Democratic nomination to Biden.

“Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, who was going nowhere except into Mini Mike’s head, just dropped out of the Democrat Primary…THREE DAYS TOO LATE,” Trump tweeted. “She cost Crazy Bernie, at least, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas. Probably cost him the nomination! Came in third in Mass.”

Warren arrived home in Massachusetts late Tuesday night – after not only failing to win a state on a night when one-third of all the Democratic presidential convention delegates were up for grabs, but placing a devastating third in her home state of Massachusetts.

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Warren hasn’t endorsed Sanders or Biden, but she has talked to both campaigns and is assessing who would best uphold her agenda, the Associated Press reported, according to a person who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The progressive lawmaker – a co-front-runner with Biden for the nomination late last summer and early autumn – saw her fortunes wane after intense scrutiny from the media and incoming fire at the debates from her rivals over her record and her explanations on how she would implement and pay for her proposals for a government-run single-payer “Medicare-for-all” health care system.

Her downward spiral intensified the past three weeks after a very disappointing fourth-place finish in neighboring New Hampshire, followed by distant finishes in Nevada’s caucuses and Saturday’s primary in South Carolina.

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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