NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
It was a stunning collapse for the former New York City mayor, who had his 2020 hopes on the Super Tuesday states and pumped more than $500 million of his own fortune into the campaign.
Bloomberg announced his departure from the race after a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday in the slate of states that account for almost one-third of the total delegates available in the Democratic nominating contest.
He won only the territory of American Samoa and picked up several dozen delegates elsewhere. Biden, meanwhile, won big in Southern states where Bloomberg had poured tens of millions of dollars and even cautiously hoped for a victory.
Two of his former Democratic rivals, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden as the moderate alternative to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just the day before Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg ran an unprecedented campaign from the start. His late entrance into the race in November prompted him to skip campaigning in the first four voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
He hung his success on Super Tuesday, spending at least $180 million on advertising in those states, but had planned to continue deep into the primary calendar, already spending millions on advertising in states like Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Before results poured in on Tuesday, he projected confidence while campaigning in Florida, only to have his aides say the campaign would reassess the next day.