Democrat New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was one of the roughly two dozen candidates to enter the race for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, but it has become abundantly clear to most that she will not be the one to emerge victorious when the primary season ends.
Even a number of Gillibrand’s donors, supporters, and former staffers have reached that conclusion and are now trying to find a way for the senator to gracefully bow out of the presidential race and return her focus to her seat in the Senate and the people of New York that she represents.
“It would be best” for Gillibrand to exit
One longtime donor and supporter of the senator feels she can can make more substantial contributions by remaining in the Senate and said of Gillibrand, “It would be best if she decided that this was not her time.”
“Most people that I talk to are very happy with her as their senator and don’t want her to give up her Senate seat and don’t see any realistic traction for her,” the friend and fundraiser added.
Gillibrand has struggled immensely to reach the qualification threshold for the third round of Democratic presidential debate in September, both in terms of donors and supporters in the polls, and it is unlikely that will change in the near future, a reality even one of her former senior staffers hopes she will accept.
“Performative and obnoxious”
“I don’t know that anyone even wants to see her on the debate stage. Everyone I have talked to finds her performative and obnoxious,” the former staffer said. “She comes across as an opportunist to the public. I think that’s the biggest problem.”
The staffer pointed to significant flip-flops over the years by Gillibrand on major issues — such as the Second Amendment and immigration policy — and said, “I think she’ll have to seriously evaluate her campaign and her candidacy if she doesn’t make this debate.”
Another personal friend and longtime support of Gillibrand said of the senator, “She’s not going to make it.” That friend added, “What is Kirsten’s reason to stay in? She should find some gracious way that enhances her…as she gracefully exits and throws her conditional support to whoever does get [the nomination].”
Barely hanging on
As noted, Gillibrand is in serious danger of not qualifying for the third round of debate to be held in Houston in September, a debate that requires candidates to have no less than 130,000 individual donors to their campaign as well as to draw 2 percent or more in at least four recognized polls.
According to Fox, the senator only has about 115,000 individual donors and has taken to offering her $30 campaign t-shirts in exchange for a $1 donation as a way to try and close that gap.
As for her poll numbers, the RealClearPolitics average of polls doesn’t even list Gillibrand as being among the top half of the remaining field, and an interactive chart shows that she topped out at roughly 1% when she first entered the race and is only drawing about 0.5% support right now.
In other words, it isn’t going to happen for her in 2020, and Gillibrand should listen to the donors, friends, supporters, and former staffers who are urging her to drop out and save herself from any further embarrassment.