Candidates Who Have Pulled Out of the Race Can Still Have an Impact


Democrats Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have all but given up their hopes of becoming the next president of the United States, but both can still have a major impact on who could be sitting in the Oval Office after January 20.

Buttigieg and Klobuchar are technically still presidential candidates because they have formally suspended their campaigns rather than dropped out.

By technically remaining in the race, they have control over what happens to the delegates they won in the four early nominating contests held before Super Tuesday — 26 for Buttigieg and seven for Klobuchar. Those numbers could even go higher because early voting and absentee ballots are still being tabulated.

Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., right, speaks as former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg looks on during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Delegates are political party members who nominate presidential candidates at the national convention and then cast ballots on those candidates they want to see run in November.

Delegates who are pledged to a candidate are expected to vote for that candidate at the convention.

So what happens to the 33 delegates Buttigieg and Klobuchar have won? They are still pledged to the two candidates, still loyal, and would still likely cast their ballots for them at the convention.

If no one wins the nomination in the first round of voting, some states allow the pledged delegates to vote for a different candidate, meaning Buttigieg, Klobuchar or any other candidate who had suspended his or her campaign would tell their delegates to choose Biden, Sanders or someone else.