Pete Buttigieg Drops Out of the US Democratic presidential race
Pete Buttigieg, a little known politician whose strange and seemingly unpronounceable name became his best asset initially, suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday, ending a historic first real shot at the coveted job by on openly gay man or woman.
Buttigieg, the two-term mayor of Indiana’s South Bend city, became the second Democrat running for the party’s presidential nomination to drop out of the race after a blow-out performance from former Vice-President Joe Biden in the South Carolina on Saturday with an emphatic win that’s overhauling the race.
Tom Steyer, a California billionaire who sank millions in the South Carolina race in the hope of a breakout reversal of fortunes, suspended his campaign shortly after it became cleat Saturday he did not have a path to the nomination. Buttigieg followed hours after, and more expected.
Buttigieg (who family came from Malta, where there are many more Buttigiegs) won the Iowa caucuses — tied it with Senator Bernie Sanders, but both have claimed it as their victory — and narrowly lost the New Hampshire primary. He finished third in Nevada and fourth in South Carolina, which voted Saturday. This is a much better score than that of some still in the race.
Buttigieg’s withdrawal is being seen as part of a larger attempt to consolidate the Democratic party’s moderates to stop Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who is making a second bid to win the Democratic party’s presidential nomination after losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016, a possibility that scares Democrats.
Buttigieg did not endorse anyone in his speech announcing the suspension of his campaign, but experts and pundits expect Buttigieg’s supporters to transfer their backing to Biden, a moderate like them, in an evolving consolidation of party moderates, to stop Sanders’s insurgent campaign.
Sanders’s rise as the frontrunner has worried Democratic party leaders who fear his brand of progressive political positions could not only imperil his chances of winning the White house if he was nominated, but also those of Democrats running for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
All eyes are now on the March 3 Super Tuesday nominating contests in 14 states, including Democratic strongholds California and New York, when 34% of the party’s 3,900 pledged delegates will be up for grabs, in a contest that appears to be moving towards a race that will be settled bu delegates at the party’s convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July.
Biden had entered the race as a frontrunner, given his experience serving as two-term vice-president with President Barack Obama, who remains extremely popular in the Democratic party. Biden has aggressively sought his former boss’s mantle, but has failed to make a convincing case, not yet at least.
But his surge from South Carolina, where African-Americans dominate the Democratic party, has raised expectations of a resurgent campaign with more energy — Biden looked charged up at his victory speech Saturday night — and more money, a big spin-off.
Buttigieg’s exit will put pressure on the remaining moderates int he fray — Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Michael Bloomberg — to announce their intentions to continue, or drop out before, the Super Tuesday voting to consolidate moderate voters.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has performed poorly in the nominating contests thus far, despite stellar debate-night turnouts. Her long-shot candidacy has appeared in peril in recent days. Her votes will most likely migrate to Sanders, a fellow progressive, if she stepped down.