Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday and endorsed former US 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 US dollars of his own fortune into the campaign.
Three months ago, I entered the race to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I'm leaving for the same reason. Defeating Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. It's clear that is my friend and a great American, @JoeBiden. pic.twitter.com/cNJDIQHS75— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 4, 2020
Mr 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.
I'm immensely proud of the campaign we ran. I'm deeply grateful to all the Americans who voted for me, and to our dedicated staff and volunteers. I want you to stay engaged, active, and committed to our issues. I will be right there with you. And together, we will get it done.— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 4, 2020
Mr Biden, meanwhile, won big in Southern states where Mr 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 Mr Biden as the moderate alternative to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders just the day before Super Tuesday.