Dem. presidential race: Williamson ends bid, Steyer surges in SC

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Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson speaks at a the Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Weeks before voting begins, shifts are being seen in the field of Democratic presidential candidates.

Spiritual guru and bestselling author Marianne Williamson ended her campaign on Friday, saying she doesn’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate in the primaries.

“I stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible opportunity to share our message,” she stated in a post on her website. “With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now.”

Williamson has barely registered in the polls and struggled in fundraising since launching her bid for president last January. She laid off her entire staff from her campaign at the end of last year but continued to appear at campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshire in recent weeks.

Williamson’s decision leaves 13 candidates remaining in the primary.

Meanwhile, Tom Steyer has jumped to second place in South Carolina, according to the latest polling from Fox News.

FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate businessman Tom Steyer waves before a Democratic presidential primary debate in Los Angeles, Calif. Steyer has unveiled an immigration proposal seeking to make immigrants fleeing the effects of climate change eligible for legal entry into the United States. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Former Vice President Joe Biden still holds a large lead with 36% of primary voters — 21 points ahead of the rest of the Democratic field.

Steyer is sitting in second place at 15% and is up 11 points since October. He’s in a statistical tie with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who has 14% support in the early state (+4 points).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts rounds out the top four with 10% (-2).

It appears Steyer has qualified for the seventh Democratic primary debate along with Biden, Sanders, Warren, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The South Carolina Democratic primary is set for Saturday, Feb. 29. The state will offer the first real indication of candidates’ strengths with black voters.

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