(CNN)Tom Steyer ended his presidential campaign on Saturday night after the billionaire businessman failed to gain traction in a large field of Democratic candidates.
Steyer exited the race after he failed to claim victory in South Carolina, a state he invested heavily in, hoping it would turn around his sputtering run.
“I said if I didn’t see a path to winning that I’d suspend my campaign,” he said. “And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”
The businessman’s decision comes after disappointing showings in the race’s first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. In Nevada, Steyer outspent the rest of the Democratic field on advertisements by more than $13 million.
Steyer spent more than $200 million on advertising for his presidential campaign, and contributed about $155 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. But the power of Steyer’s money was partially blunted late in his campaign by the entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $500 million on ads in a few short months, effectively watering down Steyer’s omnipresence.
Steyer spent considerable time and money in South Carolina, and there were signs his investment was paying off. The billionaire businessman spent more than $22 million on television and radio ads in the state, hoping that direct and persistent outreach to black voters could cut into former Vice President Joe Biden’s strength with the powerful voting bloc. A recent Monmouth University poll found Steyer at 15% in the state, neck-and-neck with the race’s front-runner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and behind Biden.
Steyer said he supports reparations for African Americans, and pledged he would, if elected, establish a commission on race led by African Americans aimed at coming up wi