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Tom Steyer Drops Out of the Democratic Primary

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

And then there were seven: On Saturday, as results of the Democratic primary in South Carolina showed that his significant investment in the state did not provide worthy electoral returns, billionaire Tom Steyer announced he would drop out of the 2020 race.

“I said if I didn’t see a path to winning, then I’d suspend my campaign,” Steyer said on Saturday. “And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”

The hedge-fund manager and environmental activist first announced he would seek the Democratic nomination in July 2019, and he has spent prodigiously in pursuit of that goal. Steyer sunk over $175 million of his own money into campaign advertising in the last seven months — far more than any other candidate except for Michael Bloomberg.

Despite the spending, Steyer placed seventh in the Iowa caucuses, sixth in New Hampshire, and sixth in first-alignment votes in Nevada. South Carolina — where he dumped $22.5 million on TV advertising alone — was meant to be a firewall for both Steyer and Joe Biden. But the strategy only worked for one of the candidates, and it happened to be the one with key endorsements in the state and massive levels of support among its older, more conservative, African-American electorate. With about two-thirds of precincts reporting, Steyer was only able to pull out 11.6 percent support and will not earn any pledged delegates from the Palmetto State.

At least he had fun while it lasted:

Tom Steyer Drops Out of the Democratic Primary