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Beto O'Rourke speaks to volunteer Charlie Jordan as she tries to hold back tears after O'Rourke announced he was dropping out of the presidential race. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke's bid for president fell apart because of weak polling numbers, fundraising troubles, debate struggles and failure to build a cohesive base, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Why it matters: The former Texas congressman was seen early as a potential frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. FiveThirtyEight notes O'Rourke struggled to maintain momentum from an early bounce after failing to reframe his candidacy around liberal issues like gun control.

Flashback: Some national polls put O'Rourke at 10% or higher soon after he announced his candidacy, according to FiveThirtyEight. But he quickly sank and has spent the last several months polling 5%.

  • His shift to the left and taking on President Trump directly were unsuccessful in boosting his favorability.

O'Rourke couldn't replicate the fundraising success he had in his 2018 challenge for Sen. Ted Cruz's seat.

  • O'Rourke raised just $4.5 million in Q3, slightly more than the $3.6 million in the previous quarter, but behind 10 other candidates, including President Trump.

O'Rourke's net favorability dropped about 6% after his October debate performance, according to FiveThirtyEight, the biggest dip for anyone on-stage.

  • In addition, O'Rourke didn't qualify for the November debate and had yet to register the numbers in any poll that would get him closer to qualifying, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The coalition of young, white suburban Texans he won over during his Senate run was never enough to win the presidential nomination, FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver writes.

What's next: "[H]is leftward turn may have also damaged his ability to run for statewide office in Texas again, as it’s still a Republican-leaning state," FiveThirtyEight writes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."