Pete Buttigieg, former small-city Indiana mayor and first openly gay major presidential candidate, said Sunday night he was dropping out of the Democratic race, after a critical loss in the South Carolina primary, just after Tom Steyer suspends his run.
What We Know:
- Buttigieg’s decision came 48 hours before the biggest voting day of the primary, Super Tuesday, when 15 states and territories will allot about one-third of the delegates over all. The results were widely expected to show him far behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The severe lack of support from black Democrats signaled the inability in forming a broad voter base.
- The campaign spent nearly all of its funds only to achieve a virtual tie for first place in Iowa and a narrow second-place finish behind Sanders in New Hampshire. Overall, the rush of contributions the campaign expected after Iowa and New Hampshire never materialized.
- The former mayor’s departure was yet another step in the narrowing of a Democratic field that once featured two dozen candidates of which, only six remain. His move comes one day after Tom Steyer. The billionaire former hedge fund executive also dropped out after poor results in South Carolina.
- Steyer’s announcement for dropping out also came with the promise that he’d continue to work on issues that are of great importance to him including environmental and economic injustice. He had failed to capitalize on his investment of millions of dollars in South Carolina, where he had pinned the hopes of his campaign.
- Despite spending more than $190 million on advertising nationally, Mr. Steyer did not earn any national pledged delegates in Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada, making South Carolina something of a make-or-break state for his continued viability.
Ultimately, both former democratic candidates faced similar situations in failing to use the monetary support their campaigns provided towards gaining their desired voter results. Most of Buttigieg’s downfall came from the lack of black voter support he depended on and Steyer simply lacked the numbers to move on to the path of presidency.