WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Tim Ryan was the last presidential candidate to take the stage at the Iowa Steak Fry on Saturday afternoon.

Thousands of people showed up for the annual event, which Ryan headlined two years ago, but only a few dozen stuck around for his speech this year — which happened at the same time as a downpour.

A few hours later, the Des Moines Register newspaper in Iowa released its latest poll with this gloomy note: “Three candidates had not a single person name them as their first choice for president,” including Ryan.

Spectrum Washington photographer Saskia Hennecke was at the Steak Fry and asked Ryan what his message is to constituents in Ohio’s 13th District who want him back full-time.

“We’re still bringing back money for people in Ohio, but what I’ve been saying is I’m doing this for us,” Ryan said. “There are structural problems in our community that I can’t fix as one of 535 people in the Congress. We need a president who is innovative and focused on some of these things, and that’s what I want to do.”

But Ryan’s campaign, which was launched over five months ago, is struggling.

His RealClearPolitics polling average is currently at 0.3 percent — third to last in the field — which means his message is not resonating and donations are not pouring in.

He failed to qualify for the last debate and is on track to fall short for the next one, which is happening in Ohio.

Before he left Washington on Friday, Spectrum Washington reporter Taylor Popielarz asked him how he sees a path forward.

“The path forward for me is I’m a blue-collar person from the industrial Midwest,” Ryan said. “I’m the person who can win the states that we need to win in order to beat Donald Trump. And I would beat him in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, in Wisconsin and make a hell of a run in Ohio.”

American University Professor Jason Mollica said Ryan is likely staying in to build up some type of a national profile.

“He probably would like a little bit more name recognition out there so it maybe brings in some more dollars, but I think it’s going to get to the point here where he’s going to have to say, ‘Look, I gave what I could. It just didn’t register. It just didn’t work,’” Mollica said.

As a backup plan, Ryan is also running to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he can legally do.

He’s reportedly holding a fundraiser for that race in Washington later this week.

As for his presidential campaign, Ryan has received almost a dozen endorsements in South Carolina and insists this is only the beginning.

“This is just getting started,” Ryan said. "I know the media wants to talk about how long this has been going on, but Bill Clinton didn’t get into this race until October when he ran in 1992. So there’s a lot of time left and we’re going to hang in there. People like our message and we’re going to keep giving it and see where things end up.”

Ryan also said he would consider being someone’s running mate, if asked.

And even though he likely won’t be on the debate stage in Ohio next month, Ryan said he’ll probably be in his home state when it’s taking place.