Half a billion dollars in, Michael Bloomberg drops out of the presidential race, endorses Biden

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Michael Bloomberg — Nicolaus Czarnecki, courtesy of Mike Bloomberg 2020

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and one of the wealthiest people in the world, announced on Wednesday he is dropping out of the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,” Bloomberg said in a written statement. “After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”

Bloomberg entered the race in November, decided to skip the first four states that vote — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and did not appear on any ballot until Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg News, a media company owned by the former New York City mayor, reported on Feb. 24 that Bloomberg the candidate had already spent $505.8 million on ads.

“That’s an average of $5.5 million a day since he officially became a candidate,” Bloomberg News noted. “It’s also $190 million more than all of his active Democratic rivals combined, including billionaire hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer, have spent on political ads.”

Bloomberg participated in all 16 contests on Super Tuesday but only won the primary in American Samoa. He fell just short of winning a majority — 49.9 percent — getting 175 of the votes cast in Samoa on Tuesday.

(Although residents of American Samoa are citizens and vote in the primaries, because they live in a territory they cannot vote in the general election.)

Bloomberg entered the race because he was concerned the Democratic Party might choose a nominee he considered unelectable.

Electability has always been a top political consideration for Bloomberg. In 2001, Bloomberg, then a Democrat, changed his party affiliation to Republican, because he thought it would give him a better chance of being elected. He was elected twice as a Republican. Before running for his third term, Bloomberg changed his registration to Independent, although he allowed his name to appear on the Republican line of the election ballot.

In October 2018, Bloomberg rejoined the Democrat Party.

“I want my supporters to stay engaged, stay active and stay committed to our issues,” Bloomberg said in his statement on Wednesday. “I will be right there with you. And together, we will get it done.”

In his written statement, Bloomberg did not repeat his previous statement that he would spend as much money as necessary to make sure the Democratic nominee wins the general election.

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