Jim Webb To Drop Out Of 2016 Democratic Race

| by Nicholas Roberts
Jim Webb.Jim Webb.

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb plans to end his bid for the Democratic presidential race, according to MSNBC.

Webb reportedly cited frustration with Democratic Party leadership, as well as with the Republican Party. The former senator complained about what he sees as a corrupt political class being drawn to extreme positions by enormous amounts of loosely regulated campaign money, reports Fox News.

On Oct. 19, Reuters reported that Webb's campaign issued a statement at the National Press Club that suggested that he is now considering an independent run. Webb was expected to announce his exit from the Democratic race at a press conference on Oct. 20, but would likely not declare an independent run during the conference. Instead, he will announce that he is weighing his options.

Webb plans to skip the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa on Oct. 24, a major Democratic Party event featuring the entire field of candidates.

"We're done with the Iowa pay-for-play dinners. We're not going to waste our small donors' hard earned cash on elite party events for Hillary [Clinton]'s pals," said Webb spokesman Craig Crawford.

The former senator has lagged behind in the polls, behind front-runner Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Webb's performance in the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13 did not seem to help his numbers much. Polling data aggregated by Real Clear Politics between late September and Oct. 18 show Webb with just over 1 percent average support in national polls. Webb felt the debate had been "rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor.”

He has run a small campaign with little organizational infrastructure, which would make it difficult to get on the ballot in key states in the Democratic race. If Webb ran as an independent, he would not face his first filling deadlines until summer 2016, according to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News.

The Democratic National Committee declined to comment ahead of Webb's announcement. Webb's press conference, where he is expected to make the announcement, was scheduled for Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. EST.

Sources: MSNBC, Fox News, Reuters / Photo credit: Rob Shenk/Flickr