Earlier tonight, CNN’s Ana Cabrera cut to “Breaking News” during her show to make the surprising announcement that Pete Buttigieg has decided to suspend his 2020 Presidential bid. This shocking news comes quickly –right on the heels of former Vice President Joe Biden’s landslide win in the South Carolina Primary and Billionaire Tom Steyer suspending his presidential campaign over this weekend.
CNN’s Abby Phillip reports sources close to the Buttigieg campaign have realistically calculated after the South Carolina Primary; the math was against the former Mayor as he received only 3% of the African American vote. Indications were that the situation might be amplified as the primaries continued. In a noble act, Buttigieg decided that staying in the race, beyond South Carolina, might hurt other leading candidates. He decided to exit for the good of the party’s focus to unseat Donald Trump.
Heading into the South Carolina Primary, Buttigieg was still considered a strong contender after an impressive showing in the Iowa Caucuses. After a final count in that race, Buttigieg was the confirmed winner of the Caucus, leading Bernie Sanders slightly. Biden was dealt a heavy blow though, with 90 percent of Iowa voters casting their votes for the other candidates. It was clear his campaign was in free-fall, and he would need a significant comeback to turn things around. South Carolina gave Biden that turn-around by granting him over 70 percent of the votes.
Buttigieg had been making impressive gains throughout his presidential bid. However, the one hurdle he seemed not to be able to overcome was his tumultuous relationship with African Americans. This obstacle stemmed from not only past issues with the residents of his Mayoral territory of South Bend, Indiana, but also the perceived notion that older black evangelicals would not vote for a gay man, married to another man. That is speculative though and somewhat biased as black voters are not monolithic. Recent stories even indicated that many black voters were starting to warm up to Pete, with no consideration one way or another about his sexuality.
Unfortunately, it appears time was not on his side to repair or, more reasonably, establish his relationship with African Americans. That implies, though, that the future remains open for him to continue to make inroads with this crucial voting demographic.
Tonight’s breaking news of Pete Buttigieg suspending his presidential campaign happened just moments ago, so there are no additional details at the moment. Reportedly, Buttigieg will make an official announcement tonight to declare his 2020 campaign is terminated. Undeniably, despite the news, throughout his high-profile participation in this race, he proved himself as a viable political force to be reckoned with and an absolute strong possibility for Vice Presidential consideration.
Buttigieg’s triumphant rise to become a top-tier contender as an openly gay candidate is no small fete. His excellent strength, honesty, and tenacity are the attributes we can only hope for in an American president. Well done, Mayor Pete!
Check your local listings tonight at 8:30 pm EST for Buttigieg making his official exit speech.