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Steyer, Buttigieg Bow Out of Presidential Race

Billionaire progressive Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, whose millions in ad buys help boost media coffers, has dropped out of the race, followed not long after by Pete Buttigieg.

Steyer suspended his campaign late Saturday (Feb. 29) following the South Carolina primary won decisively by former Vice President Joe Biden. 

In an email to supporters and the media, Steyer said he had always said that when he could no longer see a path to victory, he would drop out of the race. "That’s why tonight I am suspending my campaign for president," he said. 

He did not indicate who, if anyone, he might throw his support to, but congratulated Biden on his victory. 

According to the South Carolina Election Commission, Steyer actually came in third in the primary with 11.33% of the vote behind Biden with 48.44% and Bernie Sanders with 19.9%. But Steyer has not picked up any delegates through four primaries-caucuses. 

So far, the delegate count is Sanders 58, Biden 50, Pete Buttigieg 26, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 7, of the 1,991 needed for the nomination.

The campaigns of both Buttigieg and Klobuchar indicated Sunday  (March 1), that they were still in it through Super Tuesday (March 3), with primaries in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

But later in the day Buttigieg announced he was also suspending his campaign. "I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president," he said. "But I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that we have a Democratic president come January."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.