“As the results come in, here’s what is clear: No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible. In just three months we’ve gone from 1 percent in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination for president,” Bloomberg said to hundreds of cheering staff and supporters.
For a stoic businessman who prays at the altar of hard data, the early numbers he put up simply did not provide the justification to continue his unorthodox bid for the nomination.
What’s more, Biden dominated where Bloomberg hoped to excel. Biden won handily in Virginia, where Bloomberg’s team was buoyed by polling that showed him running near the top of the field. In Oklahoma, another state where Bloomberg began the night with high hopes, Biden won, with Sanders in second and Bloomberg in third. With the exception of Colorado, Bloomberg was running third or fourth (behind Elizabeth Warren) in every state on the map.
“We need to see what the final results are, but if [Bloomberg] doesn’t win a single state, or worse yet doesn’t even come in second in a single state, yes I think he needs to drop out and put his infrastructure behind Biden,” a House Democrat who endorsed Bloomberg said in a text message.
The House Democrat added that Bloomberg needs to make a decision about his future “in short order” and that “the last 10 days for Biden has been a home run — from the debate, the townhall, South Carolina, endorsements to now.”
Bloomberg’s team tried to project positivity throughout the night, even as discussions about his unlikely future in the race were underway. Music blared throughout the night, signs bearing his name were plastered throughout the ballroom and spreads of finger food and wine were flowing.
But even his campaign manager Kevin Sheekey lacked his trademark bravado in a statement he issued as the results trickled in.
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“We launched our campaign exactly 100 days ago. In that incredibly short time, we’ve built a nationwide coalition focused on building a better future for America, and that starts with defeating Donald Trump in November,” Sheekey said.
He touted the fast ramp-up of the three-month old campaign — visits from the candidate in more than 70 cities throughout 27 states.
“Tonight, only one-third of delegates will be allotted,” he said. “Our number one priority remains defeating Donald Trump in November.”
Laura Barron-Lopez contributed to this report.
This content was originally published here.