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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee drops out of presidential race

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announc...

Posted: Aug 22, 2019 11:14 AM

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced he is suspending his presidential campaign.

"It's become clear I'm not going to be carrying the ball -- I'm not going to be president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race," Inslee told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "But I have to tell you, look, I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball."

The Washingtonian made combating climate change the fundamental issue motivating his campaign, routinely telling reporters that the climate crisis affects "every issue" facing the country. With that in mind, he released a series of plans that tied the issue to everything from foreign policy to the economy to labor laws.

Though Inslee failed to gain traction in the race to take on President Donald Trump, he plans to seek a third term as Washington governor, a source familiar with his thinking told CNN.

Inslee plans to announce his reelection campaign on Thursday in an email to supporters, the source said.

While Inslee did recently reach the donor threshold to qualify for the third Democratic national debate, he had yet to reach the polling threshold and was therefore unlikely to qualify.

In an email to supporters outlining his exit Wednesday, he touted the increase in climate-based policy proposals from other Democratic candidates as rooted in his campaign's "gold standard."

"Many of the campaigns started with little attention to climate, but since our campaign began, we've seen almost every serious candidate put out a climate plan; we've seen climate come up in both debates; and we now have two networks hosting nationally-televised climate forums in September," he said. "Most importantly, we have introduced a detailed and comprehensive policy blueprint for bold climate action and transformation to a clean energy economy. We will fight to ensure this gold standard of climate action is adopted and executed by our party and our next president."

Assessing the other Democratic candidates Wednesday night, Inslee said that "every single one of them is 100% better than the current occupant, no question about that."

"I'm not endorsing a candidate tonight. I think a number of them have intriguing ideas, but we need all of them to raise their game," he added.

Inslee was on the trail until the final days of his campaign. The governor released his sixth climate change policy proposal on Wednesday, a plan that tied combating the issue to agricultural policy.

Inslee was scheduled to be in New Hampshire on Thursday for a presidential candidate forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Inslee did qualify for the first two Democratic debates, turning in performances in which he looked to steer the conversation towards combating climate change as often as possible. Inslee also publicly called for the Democratic National Committee to host a debate entirely focused on climate change, knocking the committee for rebuffing his demands.

"Climate change is not a singular issue, it is all the issues that we Democrats care about," he said at the second set of Democratic debates. "It is health. It is national security. It is our economy."

The governor will now return to Washington state, where he is in his second term. Inslee won reelection in 2016 by nearly 10 percentage points and is eligible to run for reelection in 2020.

While Inslee made climate change a singular focus, he was not alone in talking about the issue on the campaign trail.

Democratic candidates are often asked about the climate crisis, a signal that the issue is top of mind for active Democratic voters. And a CNN poll earlier this year found that 82% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents find climate change a "very important" issue, ranking it at the top of the list ahead of universal health care, tighter gun laws and impeaching Trump.

"We've done something else, I think: We've given people hope," Inslee said Wednesday. "The grassroots has responded to this message."

"I don't think there's any question that we have had success moving the needle," he said. "And so I think this is a positive experience."

This story has been updated.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
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