Democratic Primary Exit Survey: Seth Moulton

Seth Moulton was never going to be president and he knew it. And while that’s true of every Democratic primary dropout to date, it was particularly true for him. Moulton was openly mocked upon entering the race. Late last week, he ended his campaign with somehow even less publicity than it began.

Moulton never made it onto a debate stage, so it’s fair if you didn’t realize he was running. The Massachusetts congressman and former Marine has no video highlights (or lowlights) to showcase here. Frankly, we’re not even sure what his voice sounds like. Despite his low profile, his dropout announcement still garnered personal praise from other Democratic candidates including Beto O’Rourke and fellow veteran Pete Buttigieg.

But Moulton’s exit drew mockery from Donald Trump, who joked that it was the reason for the Dow Jones’ 573-point drop on Friday. It was a bizarre burn that barely makes sense even as a joke, but Moulton managed to make it corner with his response.

It’s hard to imagine Trump or any Democratic candidate is “thrilled” Moulton’s out of the presidential race. He posed no threat and was a complete nonfactor in the primary. Moulton insisted that he was getting a good response from people in Iowa, but simply wasn’t drawing enough people to his events—kind of funny how that works in politics, isn’t it? As Tim Ryan (who’s apparently still running for president) and John Hickenlooper proved before him, there’s no room for a down-the-line moderate with zero name recognition in the 2020 Democratic race.

But Moulton couldn’t even get the miniature profile bump that Ryan and Hickenlooper received for appearing at the first two debates. Instead, Moulton will trot back to Massachusetts’ 6th district to defend his House seat from two primary challengers who can (and likely will) openly attack him for ignoring his constituents to pursue a vain and pointless presidential bid.