Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his presidential run Wednesday evening, announcing it had become clear that his climate change-focused campaign would not succeed.
The Associated Press, citing two people close to Inslee, reported that he plans to run for a third term as governor.
Since launching his campaign in March, Inslee has laid out a series of ambitious plans to combat climate change, calling it the preeminent issue the next president must tackle. Those plans drew praise from activists, environmentalists and even his fellow candidates, but Inslee was unable to catch on with voters in early polls.
His campaign on Monday celebrated that he’d amassed 130,000 separate donors, surpassing a threshold set by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to qualify for the third televised debate next month. But he was never close to the DNC’s other threshold — 2% support in early polls. He didn’t reach the mark in any poll and his polling average hovered just barely above zero.
On Wednesday morning, Inslee released the sixth plank of his comprehensive plan to combat climate change and transform the national economy. Just 12 hours later, he announced he was done.
“Our mission to defeat climate change must continue to be central to our national discussion — and must be the top priority for our next president,” Inslee wrote in a message to supporters Wednesday night. “But I’ve concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States.”
“There are other avenues for me to be very effective at pushing the climate-change message,” Inslee said in an interview on MSNBC, during which he announced his withdrawal.