Pete Buttigieg announced the end of his campaign on Sunday (March 1), following a dismal performance in South Carolina, where he failed to earn any delegates, taking just 8.2% of the vote. The former South Bend, Indiana mayor said that dropping out ahead of Super Tuesday is the best way to unify the Democrats and defeat President Donald Trump in November.
"I will do everything in my power to make sure we have a new Democratic president come January," Buttigieg told his supporters. "There is simply too much at stake to retreat to the sidelines at a time like this."
A Buttigieg official told NBC News that the campaign saw "a very, very narrow path" to victory and realized that they "weren't where we needed to be" after South Carolina.
When Buttigieg, who was the first openly gay candidate to run for President, announced he was running, he was considered a long-shot. He managed to defy expectations and edged out a controversial victory in the Iowa caucuses.
"We began this unlikely journey with a staff of four," he said. "No big email lists. No personal fortune. Almost nobody knew my name, and almost no one could pronounce it."
Buttigieg was sitting in third place with 26 delegates, trailing Joe Biden, who has 54 following a landslide victory in South Carolina, and Bernie Sanders, who leads the crowded field with 58 delegates.
Photo: Getty Images