“I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people in this country,” he said in a video posted online. “I’m proud of this campaign because I believe we’ve done that.”
Ryan had struggled to attract attention in the crowded field and had been fundraising for his congressional campaign since he failed to qualify for the televised presidential debate in September. His presidential campaign had raised a total of $1.3 million through Sept. 30, putting him solidly at the bottom of the field.
Ryan hoped his experience representing a blue-collar district in Ohio would help him appeal to the disaffected working-class voters — people who “take a shower after work,” as he often said — in Midwestern states that were key to President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory.
But his voice was often lost among several other candidates staking out the same lane, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. According to the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, Ryan’s support was below the 0.2 percent received by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
And as as a white, middle-aged man, he faced a disadvantage in an election year in which Democrats are seeking to display their diversity.
Three of the five counties in Ryan’s House district voted for Trump in 2016, while Hillary Clinton only carried his 13th District by 7 points. (President Barack Obama had won it by 28 points four years earlier.) Ryan, however, has had no problem winning his race. In 2018, for example, he won a ninth term by 22 points. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates his reelection Solid Democratic.