Marianne Williamson drops out of Democratic presidential contest
Author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson is ending her presidential run after failing to gain traction in polls or fundraising.
With caucuses and primaries about to begin, “We will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,” she said. “The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.”
Williamson laid off her entire campaign staff in early January. She was polling at or near the bottom in the most RealClearPolitics average, with 0.2% support nationally. She also lagged in fundraising, garnering $6.1 million through the third quarter. Her announcement comes days after former HUD Secretary Julian Castro dropped out and leaves 13 Democrats in the race.
Williamson, 67, ran a campaign to “heal the soul of America,” which she said needs “a leader who is a moral and spiritual awakener.” She called for the creation of a Department of Peace and a Department of Childhood and Youth.
From 1998 to 2006, she lived in Birmingham and then Grosse Pointe, where she raised her daughter and helped to lead a nondenominational congregation.
She participated in the first two Democratic debates, but failed to qualify for later forums.
Williamson, who announced her campaign a year ago, has been a proponent of reparations for African Americans for slavery. At the second debate in Detroit in July, she laid out her proposal to pay between $200 billion and $500 billion to descendants of U.S. slaves.
It wasn’t until the first debate that Williamson’s campaign was treated with any credibility. She was the most Googled candidate after her performance. During the second debate, she said her Democratic rivals needed to focus less on policies and more on connecting emotionally with voters.
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” she said.
(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)