Former Pomona student Marianne Williamson drops out of presidential race

A woman in a black suit holds a microphone.
Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson dropped out of the 2020 race Friday. (Talia Bernstein • The Student Life)

Author, activist and former Pomona College student Marianne Williamson is ending her presidential campaign, she announced Friday.

“With caucuses and primaries now about to begin … we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,” Williamson said in a statement on her website. “The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.”

Williamson attended Pomona for two years, leaving in 1972 without completing her degree.

She drew national attention for her sometimes bizarre remarks in the first two Democratic debates, but struggled to top one percent in polls, according to RealClearPolitics poll average. She also lagged well behind her competitors in fundraising, pulling in around $3 million in the third quarter of 2019, according to Federal Election Committee filings.

Williamson laid off her entire campaign staff Jan. 2, citing insufficient funds in a statement on her website, but attempted to continue to run with an entirely volunteer staff, an unusual move for a presidential candidate.

Williamson ran on a progressive platform, including criticizing the political and economic establishment and calling for $500 billion in reparations for slavery, but many viewed her candidacy as unserious.

“I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country,” she said in her statement Friday. “I wanted to discuss things I felt needed to be discussed that otherwise were not. I feel that we have done that.”

Williamson visited Claremont in November, speaking to a packed crowd of over 200 students at an event hosted by TSL. 

However, she seemingly lacked student support — polling at one percent or less of support in TSL polls early in the fall 2019 semester. Students that saw her speak were also largely unconvinced, according to TSL reporting at her event.

The other former 5C student in the Democratic primary race, Steve Bullock CM ’88, ended his campaign in early December 2019.

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