Bob Graham First to Leave Democratic Presidential Race

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 7, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bob Graham First to Leave Democratic Presidential Race

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 7, 2003

Washington, DC ( — His ties to the state that defined the 2000 election, his folksy style, and harsh criticism of President Bush was supposed to vault him to the front of the pack of Democratic candidates for President. However, pro-abortion Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) called it quits on Monday.

"I’m leaving because I have made the judgment that I can not be elected president of the United States,” Graham said in announcing his exit from the race on CNN’s "Larry King Live.”

Graham was unsuccessful in part because of his delayed entry into the race as he recovered from heart surgery. The late start put him behind other leading contenders in terms of campaign organization and fundraising.

His campaign also never caught on with voters as polls in his home state of Florida showed him behind President Bush in a potential 2004 matchup.

Graham’s exit from the presidential race fuels speculation as to whether he would run for re-election for his Senate seat. If he decides not to, it provides the pro-life community with an excellent chance to pick up a seat in the Senate.

Several pro-life candidates have announced they will run for Graham’s senate seat, including pro-life Speaker of the Florida House Johnnie Byrd (R), pro-life former Congressman Bill McCollum (R), and pro-life Congressman Dave Weldon (R). Two pro-abortion members of Congress, Peter Deutsch (D), and Alcee Hastings (D) have indicated they are running.