After South Carolina thrashing, Buttigieg drops out

Offers no endorsement before Super Tuesday

Not even four weeks after finishing at the top of the Iowa Caucuses, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the Democratic race for President on Sunday night, a day after being soundly thrashed by former Vice President Joe Biden in the South Carolina Primary.

"Tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency," Buttigieg told supporters gathered back in his home town of South Bend, Indiana.

"The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy," Buttigieg said, currently in third place in the Democratic race, with 26 delegates.

"By every conventional wisdom, by every historical measure, we were never supposed to get anywhere at all," Buttigieg noted, as he was the first openly gay candidate to win a state in a race for the White House.

Buttigieg did not endorse another candidate - less than 36 hours before the polls would start opening on Super Tuesday, when voters cast ballots for President in 14 states.

But a disappointing performance by Buttigieg in South Carolina raised additional questions about his inability to attract the support of minority voters, as he surprised many by dropping out just two days before Super Tuesday.

It was just one week earlier that Buttigieg had drawn 7,000 people to a rally at a high school in Arlington, Virginia, as he pushed ahead for Super Tuesday.

But Buttigieg had no spark on the ground in South Carolina over the past week, finishing far back in fourth, behind Tom Steyer, who dropped out on Saturday night.

Other Democrats in the race praised Buttigieg.

“Let's move on together,” Buttigieg said to cheers.

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