Only one of these candidates remains in the Democratic presidential race. (The Atlantic)
Why aren’t the minnows getting winnowed?
The realization among some of the Democratic presidential candidates that eh, maybe this isn’t going to workout has led to a great winnowing in recent months (from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to Washington Governor Jay Inslee to Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who may have gotten more coverage dropping out than he did entering the race.)
11 of the 20 Democratic candidates still running have qualified for next month’s debate, giving them ostensibly one big shot to make one last push. But for the more obscure minnows in the race, it’s hard not to ask, why do people with no shot keep on keeping on? It’s an evergreen question for every election cycle.
Take the relatively recent entrant, Montana Governor Steve Bullock. His 2020 bid has stalled, so why is he still zig zagging across Iowa? My colleague Edward-Isaac Dovere writes that he’s getting reinforcement from the Clinton camp to keep going as a moderate in a party zooming to the left.
And Michael Bennet? The Colorado senator isn’t known for being a rabble-rouser (one pitch he’s made to voters: “If you elect me president, I promise you won’t have to think about me for two weeks at a time”). Of late, he’s pivoted to a mad-as-hell insurgent, promising to fight on in spite of the odds.
Maybe these candidates also just have the money and time. The former Maryland congressman John Delaney announced his presidential run six months after Trump’s inauguration, has visited all 99 of Iowa’s counties, and has poured millions of his own wealth to prop up his campaign. Yet he’s still something of an afterthought in most polls.
Still, there’s sliver of solace to be found for the Democratic candidates if they’re looking: Some red states are cancelling their Republican primaries altogether, giving the Republicans mounting primary challenges against President Trump an even smaller shot to present themselves to voters.
Trump’s foreign policy may be unthinkable for the GOP four years ago. On a whole host of international quagmires, from protests in Hong Kong to Russian meddling in U.S. elections, Trump has bent and broken the GOP’s foreign policy dogma, Uri Friedman writes. But his lax approach to Iran, which allegedly attacked Saudi oil facilities over the weekend, might end up being the last straw for GOP hawks.
Here’s what biology class American schools where evolution isn’t part of the curriculum. Not all schools teach this evolutionary history, Olga Khazan writes, including the high school she went to 20 years ago, adding that her “experience was far from unusual.”
About us: The Atlantic’s politics newsletter is a daily effort from our politics desk. It’s written by our associate politics editor, Saahil Desai, and our politics fellow, Christian Paz. It was edited by Shan Wang.