Just one day after Pete Buttigieg made his own primary exit, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced that she, too, is ending her presidential run. She is reportedly planning to endorse Joe Biden at his Dallas rally later Monday night.
Despite consistently low polling numbers, Klobuchar and her message of electability outlasted a crowded field of fellow moderates, but the high point of her campaign came in her third place New Hampshire finish. Nevada and South Carolina both saw her finish sixth, and she’ll be leaving the race with a mere seven delegates—19 fewer than Buttigieg, but only one behind still-current candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Much of Klobuchar’s campaign leaned hard on her Midwestern appeal and her supposed ability to appeal to dissatisfied Republicans. While actual Midwesterners didn’t seem to care all that much (she finished fifth in Iowa), the New York Times bet otherwise, choosing her as one-half of its first-ever double presidential endorsement.
But Klobuchar was only one of several remaining candidates trying to stake a claim as the moderate voter’s best bet, and with Buttigieg also reportedly planning to back Biden (an announcement that came just minutes after Klobuchar’s), it appears that the Democratic establishment is finally making a play to stop both current front-runner Bernie Sanders and the man who has purchased what appears to be every commercial you will ever see again, Michael Bloomberg. Whatever doubts the party may have had about Biden’s fitness for the general election or the presidency were evidently swept away by his big victory in South Carolina, where 150,000 more people voted for him than for Sanders.
The addition of Klobuchar’s base alone probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference to Biden’s numbers, but this larger consolidation should have progressive voters worried.
Elizabeth Warren is still in the race as of now, though left-leaning calls for her to drop out and endorse Sanders are growing louder. It doesn’t seem likely that she’ll give up before Super Tuesday, and there is still the chance that Pete and Amy’s former supporters split their votes more or less evenly across the remaining candidates.
Support Slate’s politics coverage
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Join Slate Plus to support our work. You’ll get unlimited articles and a suite of great benefits.