With Martin O’Malley Out, The Path Officially Clears For Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders

Martin O’Malley suspended his run for the presidency Monday night in Iowa, Politico reported. With O’Malley out of the way, the path officially cleared for the Democratic nomination for either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

Martin O’Malley was running a distant third during the Iowa caucuses after three out of four precincts had reported their results. In fact, the former Maryland governor had only a single percentage of the voters on his side moments before he decided to suspend his campaign.

Coming into the night, political analysts projected a number of the Republican candidates in the crowded GOP field could drop out. As it turns out, Martin O’Malley was joined by Mike Huckabee – the former Arkansas governor – in announcing a decision to suspend their respective campaigns.

The Huffington Post also confirmed that O’Malley had dropped out of the race after getting only seven state delegate equivalents during the Iowa caucuses (the Democratic caucus does not report vote tallies). Although he may finish with more before the final results are tallied, Martin was well-behind the 600+ equivalents that both Sanders and Clinton had earned.

One issue that plagued O’Malley from the on-set is that the candidate had previously backed Hillary in the 2008 primary election. After supporting Clinton so vigorously in the past, Martin had a hard time distinguishing his policies from her record.

While Martin tried to come off as a progressive willing to change the tone in Washington. However, that torch O’Malley tried to carry was passed onto Bernie Sanders mid-way through the race and was never recaptured.

Signs the O’Malley campaign was in trouble came in October when the highly-popular Maryland politician placed fourth in a poll for the Democratic nomination. Martin trailed both Sanders and Clinton in the poll, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, who at the time was still mulling a run for the top political spot.

Even more signs that campaign was sputtering came Saturday night in Iowa. While other high-profile events featured candidates across the state, O’Malley used his own campaign headquarters to stump for votes, the Huffington Post reported. Martin explained his vision for America standing from a chair to the roughly 100 or so in attendance for the rally.

Despite dismal polling figures, O’Malley may have made a case for a political appointment under a Democratic regime, specifically in a Cabinet-level position. The Washington Post reported that Martin has already denied any interest in such a position.

In announcing his decision to suspend his campaign, Martin O’Malley treated his supporters – though few in number – with the utmost respect. “I want to thank everyone who came out to our events and lent me their ear and everyone who went out to caucus for me tonight,” Martin said Monday night.

With Martin O’Malley out of the race, Bernie Sanders now can focus his energy on Hillary Clinton. With early predictions that Sanders could win in New Hampshire – near his Vermont home – Sanders will face his next true test in South Carolina. Early on during the campaign, Bernie had a problem with minorities challenging his record and disrupting his campaign stops. The Palmetto State’s primary election will show if Sanders has a race problem that could potentially lead to a Clinton win.

While Bernie Sanders must establish himself as a viable candidate, Hillary Clinton is attempting to connect with voters who are put off by her demeanor. Hillary has tried to show her funny side in connecting with the voters as early as last fall, using an appearance on Saturday Night Live to lighten her tone. Should Clinton survive the email scandal currently plaguing her candidacy, Hillary could potentially run away with the Democratic nomination.

What do you think about the Martin O’Malley decision to bow out of the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images]

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