Moulton Drops Out of Presidential Race, Cautions Democrats

'Trump will be harder to beat than most people think'

Rep. Seth Moulton / Getty Images

Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) ended his presidential bid on Friday, and cautioned Democratic candidates from campaigning too far left. 

"I've always said that veering too far left could result in us losing this election, and that Trump will be harder to beat than most people think," Moulton said.

Moulton told the New York Times the race is now really only between the top three leading candidates: former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). 

"I think it's evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it's a debate about how far left the party should go," Moulton said.

In 2018, Moulton said his election to the House was a call for change, particularly pushing back against then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). Pelosi now serves as speaker of the House.

"I think if our party answers that call, that call for change with the amazing victories we had across this country, by just saying we're going to reinstall the same status quo leadership we've had since 2006, for over 10 years, I don't think we're answering the call of the American people," Moulton explained to reporters after a town hall in 2018. 

In June, Moulton was asked what his personal metrics would be for staying in the 2020 race. 

"My personal metrics are whether my message is resonating with the voters that are going to decide this election, that’s ultimately what matters," he said. Moulton's campaign message prioritized trade war policy and climate change. 

"I’m practical, I'm progressive, and I can beat Donald Trump," Moulton said in a presidential campaign video

Three other Democrats have already dropped from the race: Gov. Jay Inslee (Wash.), former governor John Hickenlooper (Colo.), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.). 

Moulton faced difficulty in his efforts to break through the Democratic field—he did not qualify for either of the debates this year.