Best Don Quixote: Martin O'Malley

With his good looks, progressive policy positions, and two successful terms as governor, Martin O’Malley would seem a credible candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Yet, he is not. Dubbed last December by the Atlantic Monthly “the most ignored candidate of 2016,” O’Malley’s campaign has generated zero interest among progressives, and even less among rank-and-file Democrats. His poll numbers, between 1 and 2 percent months ago, have barely budged. Maybe it’s the soft-spoken, reedy voice. Maybe it’s Baltimore, of which he boasts engineering “the biggest reduction in violent crime of any city in America.” Maybe it’s just not a good year for a guy who likes numbers, charts, and data to speak for him. As he told the Atlantic (and many others), “But behind each of those numbers, there’s a real human being.” What, then, is behind an August poll that found O’Malley’s New Hampshire support at less than 1 percent?

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