Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana who electrified the early stages of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has ended his bid for the White House.
Mr Buttigieg’s decision to pull out of the contest has strengthened the position of Joe Biden as the likeliest standard-bearer for the moderate wing of the Democratic party.
The former vice-president, who won a massive victory in the South Carolina primary, is now set to go head to head with Mike Bloomberg in the fight to be the “Stop Bernie” candidate ahead of Super Tuesday, when 14 states will go to the polls.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Mr Buttigieg cancelled his plans for a Sunday night rally in Austin, Texas, instead deciding to return to South Bend.
"Our goal has always been to help unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump," he told supporters.
"We must recognise that at this point in the race the best way to keep faith with those goals... is to step aside and help bring our party and our country together. So tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency."
Reflecting on how his unlikely campaign thrust an unknown into the centre of the Democratic race, he said: “Hardly anyone knew my name, even fewer could pronounce it."
His success in Iowa turned “an improbable hope became an undeniable reality”, with Mr Buttigieg winning a top four place in the first four states to choose a candidate.
“It proved America was really hungry for an new kind of politics rooted in the ideals we share,” he added.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分“Our goal has to be to unify America, to defeat Donald Trump and win the era for our values.
“We can and must put the lives of everyday Americans who have been overlooked for so long back at the centre of our politics.
Other Democrat candidates paid tribute to Mr Buttigieg on Twitter, including. Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg.
Mr Buttigieg, 38, who was America’s first openly gay presidential candidate, emerged as a front-runner alongside Vermont’s democratic socialist senator Bernie Sanders after strong performances in the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分But despite spending nearly $3 million on advertising in the state, he finished a distant fourth in the South Carolina primary, raising questions over his appeal to black and Latino voters across the country.
Mr Buttigieg, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard graduate who also served as a counter-intelligence officer in Afghanistan, was initially regarded as a rank outsider in the contest for the nomination.
He caught the imagination of voters, with many impressed by his record as mayor in reviving the fortunes South Bend, a mid-western city which had imploded economically after the plant which manufactured the iconic Studebaker shut down in 1963.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Critics ridiculed Mr Buttigieg’s youth and mocked his experience as mayor of a city with just over 100,00 people.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分But Mr Buttigieg’s supporters said that he represented middle America – the so-called “flyover states” – which had been neglected by Washington for decades and whose voters defected to Mr Trump in 2016.
Pressure had been mounting on moderate Democrats to unite behind a single candidate in order to stop the Bernie Sanders juggernaut.
Earlier this week John Delaney, the first Democrat to enter the race for the nomination and who abandoned his campaign at the end of January, urged some of the moderates to follow his lead.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Mainstream Democrats fear that Mr Sanders, the party’s most radical candidate since George McGovern in 1972, would not only lose badly to Mr Trump in November, but take other candidates down with him.
The contest to represent the moderate wing of the party will pitch Mr Biden against both Mr Bloomberg as well as Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Mr Buttigieg’s endorsement will be much sought after by his erstwhile rivals.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分He is understood to have exchanged voice messages with Mr Biden, but no announcement has been made on who Mr Buttigieg will back for the nomination.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Donald Trump reacted swiftly to the news on Twitter, arguing that this was the first step by the Democratic “establishment” to block Mr Sanders.