Elections

Jim Webb drops out of Democratic presidential campaign

Democratic presidential candidate former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb speaks during last week’s Democratic presidential debate.
Democratic presidential candidate former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb speaks during last week’s Democratic presidential debate. AP

Jim Webb, far behind in polls among Democratic presidential candidates, Tuesday said he is withdrawing from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Webb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia, is considering an independent bid.

“I fully accept that my view on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and the nominating base of the Democratic party.” And, he said, that hierarchy “is not comfortable” with many of his positions.

His withdrawal is likely to have virtually no impact on the Democratic race. Four major candidates remain, with Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, ahead in national polls, followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, and Lincoln Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island, are far behind. A CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed Webb at 1 percent among Democrats.

The first Democratic presidential primary debate was held on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb - took to the stage in hopes of propelling their can

Webb, 69, is regarded as more moderate than the party’s base, and more inclined to take tough views towards military involvement.

He did not say whether he’d run as an independent, explaining he’ll be talking to voters. Any future decision, he said, will depend on what kind of support he sees in the coming weeks.

“I am not going away” Webb said. “I am thinking through all of my options.”

He explained how “I’ve worked with both sides, and I have a lot of respect for many people who are members of both parties. I know how broken our system really is. This country needs a totally new dynamic that respects and honors our history and our traditions but is not a slave to the power structures that are failing us.”

Webb said Tuesday that if he ran as an independent, he had “no doubt” he’d have significant financial help.

Webb has been frustrated as a candidate, complaining during last week’s Democratic debate that he didn’t get enough time to discuss his views. At one point he said he’d been “standing over here for about 10 minutes, trying” to participate.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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