FILE - In this July 12, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at a town hall meeting during a campaign stop in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Plagued by anemic polling and fundraising, many 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns have fallen into a spiral of perceived struggles that become increasingly self-fulfilling. That includes Gillibrand’s championing of women’s rights, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s focus on climate change and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s pitch as a principled moderate. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Campaigning from behind: Lower-tier candidates seek comeback

July 20, 2019 - 12:39 am

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Plagued by anemic polling and fundraising, many 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns have fallen into a spiral of perceived struggles that become increasingly self-fulfilling.

Some of the most affected built their runs around signature issues that have largely fallen flat as momentum eludes their messengers.

That includes New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's championing of women's rights, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's focus on climate change and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's pitch as a principled moderate.

Urgent calls for gun control also couldn't keep California Rep. Eric Swalwell's now-defunct presidential bid afloat.

After the next Democratic primary debate later this month in Detroit, the threshold to qualify for future debates gets tougher. That's when many of the campaigns that have yet to break out may face pressure to leave the race.

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