Steyer drops out of 2020 race

Steyer drops out of 2020 race
© Greg Nash

Billionaire businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE dropped out of the presidential race after a disappointing showing in South Carolina's primary.

Steyer's poor showing came after he had made a big play for South Carolina. Results with 85 percent of precincts reporting showed him with just over 11 percent of the vote, below the 15 percent threshold needed to win delegates from the state.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign cancels fundraiser with Mueller prosecutor Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE won South Carolina decisively, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (I-Vt.) placing a distant second and Steyer finishing third.

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“There’s no question today that this campaign, we were disappointed with where we came out,” Steyer said in his concession speech. “But I said, if I didn’t see a path to winning, that I’d suspend my campaign. And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”

The philanthropist had poured over $20 million of his own money into South Carolina to fund an advertising blitz, offering competitive campaign salaries and hiring many businesses owned by African Americans, who make up the majority of the Democratic electorate in the state.

However, he was unable to overcome Biden's strong support among African Americans.

Steyer has struggled to stand out in the race, finishing far behind the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire, while notching a fifth-place finish in Nevada.

The billionaire businessman vowed to support the ultimate Democratic presidential nominee, saying any of the contenders would be “a million times better” than President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE, while promising to stay involved in South Carolina.

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“I’m not leaving. You may want me out of here. I’m not leaving. We’re already figuring out ways in fact to make sure that we stay in South Carolina,” he said.

Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Comey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe Schumer: GOP should 'stop sitting on their hands' on coronavirus bill MORE’s a disaster. He’s the disaster here. So of course I’ll be working on that,” he added, hinting he would be involved in the effort to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Steyer said he still felt vindicated by his campaign, which centered around ending corporate corruption, rectifying racial inequities and advocating for solutions to tackle climate change. He also made term limits for Congress and reparations for African Americans focal points of his White House bid.

“I didn’t get into this race and start talking about things to try to get votes. I was in this race to talk about things that I care the most about and that I continue to care the most about,” he said. “This has been a great experience. I have zero regrets.”

Updated at 9:57 p.m.