Rep. Tim Ryan drops out of presidential race
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan traveled to Kentucky to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring House-backed gun regulation bills to the U.S. Senate floor for a vote. AP
WASHINGTON – Rep. Tim Ryan, who focused his presidential campaign on trying to win over working class voters who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, has ended his bid for the White House.
He made his announcement in a video posted to his Twitter account Thursday.
"After seven long months of hard work, I'll be returning home to my family and friends and community in Ohio to run for re-election for my congressional seat," he said in the video.
Ryan, 46, has served as the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District since 2003.
In April, Ryan announced his bid for the presidency during an appearance on ABC’s "The View," where he spoke about manufacturing plant closures across Ohio, insisting that the federal government needed to intervene.
"How do we come together, the best of government, the best of the workforce, the best of the free enterprise system and dominate the electric vehicle market so we're creating jobs?" Ryan prompted during his campaign announcement.
Like other moderate candidates in the field, Ryan often framed his electability as tied to an ability to win over blue collar voters.
“I am a progressive who knows how to talk to working class people, Ryan said on "The View." “I know how to get elected in working class districts because at the end of the day, the progressive agenda is what is best for working families.”
But Ryan never managed to get more than 1% support in a national poll since entering the race, according to a list compiled by FiveThirtyEight that dates back to November. He failed to reach even that modest mark among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic in a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
"In 2012, President Barack Obama won my home county by 23 points," he wrote. "Just four years later, Trump won... they believed he could make things better. But I've been watching those same voters slip away from Trump. From farmers to factory workers, they are onto his scheme."
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Ryan's focus on courting industrial, heartland voters often alienated him from the progressive politics that characterized a number of his fellow candidates.
During the first Democratic debate, for instance, Ryan said that Democrats wouldn't be able to confront problems such as climate change until they won the confidence of the whole country, rather than just coastal voters.
“We have a perception problem with the Democratic Party," he said. "We are not connecting to the working-class people in the very states I represent, in Ohio, in the industrial Midwest. We’ve lost all connection."
Prior to his presidential bid, Ryan was perhaps best known for challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her leadership position in 2017, when she served as House minority leader.
“As I saw the blue firewall collapse, I was like: I need to step up,” he told The Washington Post at the time, referring to Trump's fresh Oval Office victory. “I need to be a bigger voice in the party.”