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In what came as a complete surprise to me, Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the running for the Democratic ticket just before Super Tuesday. This is surprising because Mayor Pete was doing well. He wasn't the front-runner but he was solidly in 3rd place and still had a mathematical chance. He won Iowa, tied Bernie in NH with delegates and finished 3rd in Nevada. But I guess after getting no delegates in SC and with his campaign's projections for big Super Tuesday states, I suppose he felt like his votes would be better suited to go toward another candidate. And likely another candidate not named Bernie Sanders.
Here's how Pete did in the race so far between the first four states before Super Tuesday:
He earned 26 delegates out of 155. Biden earned 54. Bernie 60. Then Warren with 8 and Klobuchar with 7.
He earned 161,368 votes (give or take with results page you look at) out of 1,013,987. That's roughly 15.9% of the total vote. Biden is leading with 30.3%, then Sanders with 23.1%, Warren with 10%, Amy with 9.6% (who dropped out hours after Mayor Pete) and Steyer (who also dropped out just before Super Tuesday) with 7.1%.
So, no doubt this move was done strategically by him and his camp, so that the piece of the voting and delegate pie he would have certainly garnered can now go to another candidate still in the running. Same thing for Steyer.
And then you have Amy Klobuchar dropping out hours after Pete. She was also doing fairly well but clearly not going to win. She only got 7 delegates and about 9.6% of the total vote.
So if you assume Pete's + Amy's + Tom's votes would have held up in the 14 Super Tuesday states, that means that roughly 32% of the votes are now up for grabs, and roughly 15-17% or so of the delegates too. A huge chunk that could push someone like Biden, Bloomberg or Warren over the top, or at least very neck and neck with Bernie, the current front-runner.
Question is, who benefits most from Pete, Amy and Tom dropping out on the eve of Super Tuesday? Where will all those votes and delegates go? And who do you think Pete wants to win now? I don't think he has endorsed a current candidate yet, but I very much assume he is pulling for Biden over Bernie at the moment. Amy has already made it clear she will endorse Biden. Not sure about Steyer.