AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Based on what we heard from the mainstream media, I fully expected Rep. Eric Swalwell to do moderately well in the early stages of his candidacy for president. Gun control was supposed to be a major issue in the primary, and he was running as a gun control candidate first and foremost.
However, the same man who was so-willing to invoke nuclear weapons to put down an armed revolt over gun control never polled at a single percentage point. His campaign support was non-existent, yet he continued.
Now, the gun control candidate–the man who ran on just gun control–is out of the race.
Just two weeks ago during the Democratic presidential debate, the little-known Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch.”
WaPo reported: “I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic convention and said it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans,” Swalwell said. “That candidate was then-senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He’s still right today.”
Even funnier was the headline: “Who is Eric Swalwell? And why did he just tell Joe Biden to ‘pass the torch’?”
Swalwell announced Monday that he was dropping out of the Democratic race for President. Many wondered why he even ran for the nation’s highest office. He showed at a stunning 0% in several national polls, and it was reported in May Swalwell had accumulated massive credit card debt, had never paid off his student loans, and cashed out his pension despite earning $174,000 a year since 2013.
Honestly, that last part doesn’t phase me. A California Democrat with financial mismanagement issues? Shocking.
But Swalwell should have done better as a gun control candidate in a gun control year. Why didn’t he?
Well, for one thing, he got beaten on his one issue.
Swalwell was focused on a draconian “assault weapon” ban, but candidates like Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were more than willing to go much further, offering up proposals that are even more palatable to a Democratic base that loathes guns.
Ironically, Swalwell’s proposal is likely to have been far more palatable to moderates and independents. Not that they would have sided with it, mind you, only that, if forced to choose between the plans, more would have picked Swalwell’s.
The problems for Swalwell were many. For one, he lacked appreciable name recognition. We on the pro-gun side recognized it to some degree, but most voters didn’t. Further, he was a single-issue candidate in an extremely crowded field. That wasn’t exactly enough to garner support. I’ve argued for a while that gun control isn’t a motivating issue for most anti-gun voters, and Swalwell’s failure of a campaign suggests that I was right.
So what’s next for Swalwell? I suppose he’ll go back to his busy schedule of talking about nuking American citizens and pretending that he has some degree of relevance.