Former Mayor of South Bend and first openly-gay candidate, Pete Buttigieg has dropped out of the race to become the 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate after a disappointing result in South Carolina.
Buttigieg who narrowly won the Iowa caucus but failed to take New Hampshire, Nevada and now South Carolina acknowledged there was little chance he’d succeed in Super Tuesday.
“The truth is the path has narrowed to the close for our candidacy,” Buttigieg said in his suspension speech, adding that to defeat President Trump, “We must recognise that at this point in the race the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party together.”
Buttigieg flew back to South Bend to make the announcement to supporters and staff. The New York Times reports it is unclear if he will endorse another candidate although a Biden campaign official told the paper the two had exchanged voice messages.
But in a thinly veiled swipe at Sanders, Buttigieg said the candidate needed a broad-base appeal.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart,” Buttigieg said. “We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology.”
Largely unknown prior to his bid to become the Democrat 2020 presidential candidate, Buttigieg skyrocketed to the top tier of candidates in a field of over 24. Early on his fundraising was strong collecting over $24 million in the three-month period ending June 30, more than any other candidate in the field.
Buttigieg presented himself as a centrist candidate but wasn’t able to gather the support of the Democrat’s growing non-white voter base.
Making matters worse for Buttigieg’s campaign is a cash crunch. The campaign has been spending more money than it has been taking in. In several Super Tuesday states, his ads have been confined to smaller markets, which are cheaper, instead of big cities, which offer more delegates.
Joe Biden, another centrist candidate, comfortably took South Carolina largely due to the support of African American voters. Bernie Sanders although well behind Biden is still a strong candidate following earlier wins.
In the last presidential debate, on Tuesday in South Carolina, Mr. Buttigieg forcefully warned that nominating Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the front-runner, would lead to crushing defeat in the fall, not just “four more years of Donald Trump,” but the loss of the Democratic House majority secured by moderate candidates who won in suburban swing districts in 2018.