Pete Buttigieg's decision to drop out of the 2020 race has the potential to "shake up the dynamics of the race," writes Alexi McCammond at Axios. But exactly how that plays out remained very much unclear Monday morning. A poll by Morning Consult in late February found that Buttigieg's backers were nearly evenly split among Bernie Sanders (21%), Joe Biden (19%), Elizabeth Warren (19%), and Michael Bloomberg (17%) as their second choice. And yet USA Today notes that a Quinnipiac University poll last month found that Buttigieg's supporters were evenly split between Amy Klobuchar and Warren (both at 26%) as their second choice.
A key question is whether Buttigieg himself will make any endorsement. If he does so, the Morning Consult poll found that his backers would mostly likely follow his endorsement of either Biden or Warren. Buttigieg and Biden reportedly traded voicemails after Buttigieg's announcement as speculation increases, per Axios. At the Politico Playbook blog, a quick analysis suggests that Buttigieg's decision to drop out will increase pressure on everyone except Biden and Sanders to drop out, too. Those calls may not be fair, "but it’s clear at this point that BIDEN and SANDERS are the only two candidates left with mass appeal." (Read more Pete Buttigieg 2020 stories.)