Martin O’Malley has dropped out of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary race after failing to secure even one percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses on Monday.
Martin failed to gain traction over his more than eight-month campaign. Politico attributed this to O’Malley’s failure to paint himself as the “true progressive in the race” when competing with the rising popularity of Bernie Sanders. The news site also suggested that he may have been wounded in the polls by a formerly cosy relationship with Hillary Clinton.
Martin came into the race with the experience of a nearly 20-year career in Maryland, including time as the mayor of the city of Baltimore and later the state’s governor. O’Malley’s term as Baltimore mayor was marked by his tough police crackdown on crime, something that he told Rolling Stone was a huge part of the reason he was elected in the first place. Though some dispute the numbers that Martin’s campaign uses — a 40 percent overall drop — his wife Katie told the publication that the election results speak for themselves.
“It’s just a lack of facts. People voted for him twice. He got re-elected in a majority African-American city two times, because people wanted him to crack down on crime. And any kind of crime — crime leading to violent crime. Whether they were just smoking marijuana, or whether they were on the streets with an open container. The crime was happening in these majority African-American neighborhoods, and people voted for him because they said, ‘We want our neighborhoods back.'”
Among O’Malley’s other listed accomplishments in his time as governor were a gun registration law, same sex marriage, the elimination of the death penalty, and in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. These progressive boons were something Martin often commented on on the campaign trail, but his campaign still never quite picked up momentum despite declining to drop out. A few days before the Iowa caucus, The Atlantic published entitled “Whoops! Martin O’Malley Really Does Matter” that instead of touting the benefits of the candidate, spoke about how his how voters in the caucus — who would clearly not reach a 15 percent majority — would split between Bernie and Hillary. That, the author even conceded, wasn’t much.
“Whether it’ll be enough to put Sanders over the edge is another question. Fifty-seven percent sounds like a lot, but 57 percent of 7 percent—his current poll ranking—isn’t much at all.”
Although he never became a contender, Martin did have a few moments where he gained public attention. Many shared a fascination with his celtic rock band, O’Malley’s March, in which Martin both sang and played guitar and banjo. The group snagged enough popularity to open for ’80s Irish group The Pogues. There’s even a video of him live covering their signature song “Fairytale of New York.”
O’Malley also caught on with the much-courted youth audience when landed one of the highest trending moments of the final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses. When vying for time to finish his question, he pushed in for a rare moment in the spotlight. Still, as usual, Martin found it impossible to strongly compete with the power of Sanders and Clinton.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 18, 2016
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[Image via Getty Images]