Presidential dropouts had little effect on overall race


Jaime Donovan

Martin O’Malley, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul have announced that they are dropping out of the 2016 presidential race. Probably the most viable of the three, Rep. Rand Paul’s presidential candidacy looked promising in 2014 and early 2015. Admirably, he was trying to diversify the Republican party by reaching out to minorities. Much like his father Ron Paul, Rand had many libertarian views that he brought with him to the Republican party, trying to integrate the two.

The move didn’t work for his father and it didn’t work for Rand either in the end. Rand also trailed behind his father when it came to results.

Rand was relying on grassroots efforts to support his campaign and lacked the serious funds to continue. There was also criticism that his presidential campaign was distracting him from his Senate work. He went as far as writing an oped for the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, defending his decision to run for president. Rand is refocusing on his reelection to the Senate.

While Paul was ahead of Huckabee in the polls, he didn’t receive much traction and probably won’t be missed by most. Overall his father was more successful during his own presidential run than Rand was in his. While Ron placed third place in the 2012 Iowa Republican caucuses, Rand placed fifth in the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

Rand Paul and Martin O' Malley.  Photo Courtesy of
Rand Paul and Martin O’ Malley.
Photo Courtesy of

Rep. Mike Huckabee also trailed behind in the 2016 Republican Iowa caucuses, which is a far cry from his 2008 Iowa caucus win. He received roughly 2% of the votes this time around at the Republican caucuses. Huckabee joked with his supporters, stating that he was ending the campaign because of illness: that voters are sick of him. Much like Rand Paul, Huckabee also had trouble raising funds for his campaign. He also didn’t get the support of evangelicals this time as he did back in 2008.

It also probably hurt his candidacy when he supported Kim Davis, the clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, as more Americans today, including many Christians, support gay marriage. The people have voted and they are clearly over Huckabee this time around.

Finally, there’s Martin O’Malley, representing the Democratic Party. Former Maryland Governor O’Malley always trailed behind Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Much like Paul and Huckabee, O’Malley also struggled with funds to continue and support his campaign. Many Democrats seem to prefer Sanders and Clinton, and it seems as if O’Malley never even had a chance as Clinton and Sanders overshadowed him.

A month before he announced his bid, there were riots all over Baltimore, where O’Malley served as mayor, when a young black man died in police custody. O’Malley was criticized for having a zero tolerance stance which hurt him with African-Americans. Even though crime rates in Baltimore dropped by over 40% over his mayoral term, police and community relations worsened under his leadership.

O’Malley stood at less than 1% in the 2016 Democratic Iowa caucuses. He’s pretty much the unknown guy that never stood a chance, at least this time around. These three probably won’t be missed and they all had very little influence but there’s always the next presidential election. It seems that the American public is more concerned with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, and Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio on the Republican side.