DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Pete Buttigieg never made it to Dallas Sunday, and instead flew from Alabama to South Bend, Indiana, where he made his removal from the 2020 presidential race official.
Just last month, Buttigieg finished first in Iowa and came in a close second in New Hampshire. But he lost momentum in the more diverse states.
“The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy, if not for our cause,” he said.
The 38-year-old openly gay former mayor told his supporters he’s dropping out of the race to help his party come together.
News that he was quitting came as his supporters gathered in downtown Dallas an hour before he was set to hold a rally there.
Supporter Lisa Conway said she is absolutely heartbroken over the announcement.
“I cannot believe that he dropped out,” Conway said.
Dan Freeman was also upset at the news.
“Disappointment, obviously, we’ve been watching him for a year and he was my guy,” he said.
Currently in Texas, Bernie Sanders leads the polls.
The Real Clear Politics Average shows him with nearly 30%, Joe Biden at nearly 21%, and Mike Bloomberg at 18%. Following them are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
Bloomberg campaigned in San Antonio two nights before Super Tuesday — his first time on the ballot amid an onslaught of TV ads.
“The road to victory in November starts right here, right now, in Texas,” Bloomberg said.
The billionaire entered the race late because he believed Biden wasn’t viable.
SMU Professor of Political Communication Stephanie Martin said people are waiting to see if Biden’s bigger-than-expected victory in South Carolina will consolidate support from moderate democrats.
“South Carolina really was his firewall and people line up behind him, and some of his support that was moving toward Bloomberg starts to move away and go back to Biden,” Martin said.
Warren’s supporters in Dallas, like Richard Huggins, say voters should consider her.
“They’ll see she’s a candidate who can actually get things done,” Huggins said.
Biden will hold a rally at Gilley’s Dallas Monday night, and with his win in South Carolina, the delegate count is nearly tied. Sanders has 58 and Biden is close behind at 50.
To be nominated, a candidate needs 1,991 delegates.