Buttigieg dropping out of presidential race

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE is dropping his presidential bid after a disappointing showing in South Carolina, ending a meteoric rise that saw the once-obscure former mayor of South Bend, Ind., beat out several bigger-name rivals in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Buttigieg is on his way to South Bend, where he will make the announcement later tonight.

The then-mayor launched his campaign last April, touting a unifying message and the promise of generational change in Washington. 
 
 
He also sought to attract moderate voters of all stripes, often talking about his conversations wooing "future former Republicans."
 
Buttigieg also notably made history as the first openly gay presidential candidate on a major party ticket. His husband, Chasten, became a staple of his campaign, particularly on social media. 
 
"Sadness. Disappointment. Huge respect. Pete did the math and wanted to make sure his voters had a chance to cast meaningful votes on Tuesday for a candidate who could still prevail in Milwaukee," Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who was the first member of Congress to endorse Buttigieg, told The Hill. "Pete's best days still lie ahead. He earned the respect and affection of tens of millions of Americans."
 
Ever since his campaign's launch, Buttigieg's support in the polls fluctuated. It peaked during his performance in the Iowa caucuses, where he narrowly won the delegate share over Sanders.
 
However, the former mayor fared worse in Nevada and South Carolina, where he came in third and fourth place, respectively. Buttigieg struggled to gain traction among minorities, especially black voters, with some polls placing his support from the voting bloc at zero percent. 
 
His critics also sought to highlight several racially charged controversies he has dealt with in South Bend, including his demotion of the city’s first black police chief.
 
 
The former mayor is the first of the major moderate candidates to drop out, leaving former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats: A moment in history, use it wisely The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (D-Minn.) and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWake up, America — see what's coming Bloomberg urges court to throw out lawsuit by former campaign staffers Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify MORE (D-N.Y.) in the race.
 
Scott Wong contributed.