Politics

Author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson is out of the 2020 presidential race

Key Points
  • Author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson is suspending her 2020 presidential campaign, she told supporters in an email Friday.
  • Williamson, who consistently polled near the bottom of the pack of Democrats vying to defeat President Donald Trump, said she stayed in the race "to take advantage of every possible opportunity to share our message."
  • The best-selling author entered the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race vowing to bring a "spiritual awakening" to American politics.
Democratic presidential candidate, author Marianne Williamson addresses the audience at the Environmental Justice Presidential Candidate Forum at South Carolina State University on November 8, 2019 in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Sean Rayford | Getty Images

Author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson is suspending her 2020 presidential campaign, she told supporters in an email Friday.

Williamson, who consistently polled near the bottom of the pack of Democrats vying to defeat President Donald Trump, said she stayed in the race "to take advantage of every possible opportunity to share our message."

"With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now," she said. "The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them."

"As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign," Williamson said.

Williamson wrote on Twitter shortly after her announcement that "A politics of conscience is still yet possible. And yes….love will prevail."

The best-selling author entered the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race vowing to bring a "spiritual awakening" to American politics. She promised to "harness love" to defeat Trump. She was one of six women vying for the nomination.

By the start of 2020, Williamson had fired her entire campaign staff, explaining that her campaign coffers had been stretched thin. But she vowed on Jan. 2 to stay in the race, saying, "a campaign not having a huge war chest should not be what determines its fate."

While some failed to take the quirky candidate seriously, she clinched coveted spots in the first two Democratic debates weeks before career politicians like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and others made the cut.

She used the national platform to her advantage, becoming a top trending candidate on Twitter during the second debate, after warning that Trump was bringing "this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred" to the country.

On many issues she dovetailed with progressive Democrats, supporting "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal climate change proposal. She was a proponent of reparations for descendants of slaves, calling for spending up to $500 billion on a payment plan.

But the Texas native also faced an outcry when she said that the idea of mandatory vaccinations was "draconian" and "Orwellian," raising concern she was sympathetic to the anti-vaccine movement.

Though she made inroads, her campaign never caught fire. She raised just $1.5 million in each of the first and second quarters of 2019. She doubled that figure in the third quarter, but still badly trailed the front-runners and rarely surpassed 1% support in the polls.

But she has at times drawn outsize attention along the campaign trail — notably in the first primary debate in June, when she vowed that her first presidential act would be to tell New Zealand's prime minister that "Girlfriend, you are so on."

Williamson's unorthodox rhetoric, steeped in more "spiritual" language than most of her competitors, quickly set her apart from the rest of the field, even if her style points haven't translated into higher poll numbers.

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