What does Pete Buttigieg's exit from the Democratic Primary mean?
The Mayor of South Bend, and one of the most influential candidates in the Democratic Primary, announced his withdrawal from the race just two days before Super Tuesday.
If we have learned anything over the past year, it is that the Democratic Primary is all about campaign strategy.
While Senator Bernie Sanders was building his grassroots political movement from the seeds sown during his previous adventures into the presidency, former Vice President Joe Biden was using the "Obama" card and its representation of the status quo to appeal to his voter base.
Simultaneously, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar were seeking middle ground to unify the party under the failed promise of a female president in 2016, with "a plan for everything" and the gamble of experience, respectively.
However, in the midst of a final stretch undermined by opportunistic millionaires, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's crusade was one that attracted the attention of analysts and voters alike.
Mayor Pete was not only the only candidate with military experience on the ballot but also the first and only openly gay candidate for the U.S. presidency.
Although many thought that the country's endogenous homophobia would be an obstacle to his candidacy, his command of language and deep commitment to religion opened unexpected doors for him.
After coming out as gay, Buttigieg was re-elected in 2015 with 80 percent of the vote in South Bend, which the young politician intended to bring to his national campaign.
In announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination on April 14, 2019, Mayor Pete proposed his progressive platform in favor of democratic capitalism and positioned himself as a solid option for the centrist voter in the mainstream Democrats.
By February 2020, Buttigieg had 26.2% of the vote after the Iowa Caucus, came in second in the New Hampshire primary, and, despite winning 26 delegates and being ahead of Senators Warren and Klobuchar, announced his withdrawal from the race on March 1.
After canceling a rally Sunday night in Dallas and a fundraiser Monday in Austin, the candidate announced his withdrawal to his supporters, saying, "sometimes the longest way around really is the shortest way home," according to the New York Times.
“The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close, for our candidacy if not for our cause,” he added. “Tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.”
The Times reported that Buttigieg argued his decision to his donors as "the right thing" to do when evaluating the numbers, adding that Democrats need "the right kind of nominee" to beat Donald Trump in November.
According to people close to his campaign, the mayor held talks with former Vice President Joe Biden and will announce his support in the next days, which implies the beginning of a solid centrist campaign against the strength of Senator Sanders.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart,” Buttigieg said in his withdrawal speech. “We need a broad-based agenda to truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology. We need an approach strong enough not only to win the White House but hold the House, win the Senate and send Mitch McConnell into retirement.”