Super Tuesday marked the first time former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared on a Democratic primary ballot and his last night in the campaign.
Bloomberg announced that he would suspend his campaign on Wednesday after he failed to finish in the top two in any state on Tuesday. The billionaire former Republican endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, who reemerged as the frontrunner after piling up wins across the country.
“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump, Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason,” he said, “because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”
“After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible — and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” he said, one day after admitting his only path to the nomination was through a contested convention.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” he added, one day after accusing Biden of taking his votes.
After spending more than $500 million ($224 million in Super Tuesday states alone) to flood the airwaves with ads touting his “electability,” Bloomberg failed to reach the 15% viability threshold needed to win statewide delegates in 10 of the 14 states that voted on Tuesday. Bloomberg’s lone win came in American Samoa, where he netted five delegates. Bloomberg has been allocated just 44 delegates as of 10 am ET Wednesday, though he may receive more as votes continue to be counted.
Bloomberg, who entered the race late, skipped the first four contests on the primary schedule to focus on winning big in key states on Super Tuesday. Instead, he appears to have fallen short of reaching the 15% threshold in California and Texas, the biggest races of the night, though votes are still coming in. He also failed to win any delegates in Virginia and North Carolina, where he built up large teams and spent a combined $33 million since January, according to CNN.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who spent just $360,000 in Virginia, won nine of Tuesday’s races even though he didn’t campaign or spend money in five of them.
Despite spending around $5.1 million per every delegate he won on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg spoke to supporters as though he was on the verge of a breakthrough.
“As the results come in, here’s what is clear: No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible,” he said on Tuesday. “In just three months we’ve gone from 1 percent in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination for president.”
But aides told Politico that he flew from Florida to New York City on Tuesday night for a “day of reckoning.”
“This isn’t going as planned,” one of his advisers admitted to CNN.
Bloomberg’s announcement comes after he already spent tens of millions in upcoming states and has planned events in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania later this week.
With Bloomberg out, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who finished third in her home state of Massachusetts, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who won her lone delegate in American Samoa, as the only other Democrats in the race.
“Elizabeth is talking to her team to assess the path forward,” a campaign aide told The Hill.