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John Delaney. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) announced Friday that he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race.

The big picture: Delaney was the first Democrat to announce his candidacy in the 2020 election, yet failed to establish himself once the field grew. In July, Axios reported that Delaney's staff had asked him to drop out, suggesting he wasn't spending enough money to run a competitive race and had flopped at the first debate.

  • At the time, Delaney denied the accusations, stating he had "no plans to drop out of the race."
  • He failed to qualify for later debates — benchmarks largely seen as a make-or-break moments for campaigns.
  • Questioned by Medium in December as to why he was still in the race, Delaney said his plan was "to do well in Iowa, and send a message that a candidate that actually focuses on rural Iowa, and focuses on campaigning in people’s living rooms and in coffee shops, still matters."

The state of play: The campaign said in the announcement that Delaney had decided to drop out after concluding that he would not reach the 15% viability threshold across much of Iowa — but still had enough support to hurt other moderate candidates.

What he's saying:

"Let’s stop the nonsense of unrealistic and divisive campaign promises and be the party the American people need — a decent, unifying, future-focused and common-sense party. And please don’t listen to the cynics, the naysayers and the dividers; while we have significant challenges and too many Americans are struggling, the world gets better every year and the United States of America has driven much of this progress — let’s keep it that way."

Go deeper ... 2020 presidential election: Track which candidates are running

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.