AUSTIN, Texas — Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is dropping out of the race for president.
O’Rourke announced his decision on Twitter with a letter saying that his campaign “does not have the means to move forward successfully.”
“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country,” O’Rourke said in a statement.
O’Rourke’s campaign was struggling to qualify for the fifth Democratic primary debate, scheduled for November 20. In order to ensure a spot on the stage, the candidates have to reach 3 percent in a minimum of four Democratic National Committee-approved polls or in one of the early-voting states, which consist of South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. O’Rourke had the needed donors, but was not close to achieving the polling requirements.
He ended his letter urging voters to “ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful.”
“We must support them in the race against Donald Trump and support them in their administration afterwards, do all that we can to help them heal a wounded country and bring us together in meeting the greatest set of challenges we have ever known,” he said.
O'Rourke had been struggling to break through a crowded Democratic field. He entered the race in March with buzz from his narrow 2018 Senate loss to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas.
But as the excitement over his candidacy began to fade, O'Rourke was forced to stage a "reintroduction" of his campaign to reinvigorate it. After a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, he began to center his campaign on gun violence prevention.
Tune into Capital Tonight at 7 p.m. Friday as reporters closely covering the O’Rourke campaign weigh in on what’s next for the former Texas Congressman, including the possibilities of a U.S. Senate bid.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.