(NewsReady.com) – Pete Buttigieg unexpectedly quit the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Sunday night, following Joe Biden’s solid victory in the South Carolina primary.
The former vice president’s win puts him in a strong position as the moderate wing’s candidate to stop Bernie Sanders winning the nomination.
That makes Buttigieg’s withdrawal significant in two ways. First, he probably figured that Biden is regaining his early momentum and there was little chance of beating him. Second, that withdrawing would lead to more moderates falling in behind the former vice president and help avoid the nightmare scenario of a Sanders nomination.
Buttigieg: "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 and our country together, so tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency." pic.twitter.com/c5HbaAlHuo
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 2, 2020
The first hint that Buttigieg was changing his plans came when he canceled a Sunday rally in Austin, Texas and returned to South Bend, Indiana instead. His campaign then announced that he’d be making a statement at 8:30 pm eastern time – and 5 minutes into that statement he told the audience that “the path has narrowed to a close” and he was winding up his campaign.
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