Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary Drops Bid to Be Canada's Prime Minister

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These check out. His hope that his endorsement will propel Maxime Bernier to victory of the party leadership is also justified but far from certain.

O'Leary's stated reason for leaving is that he didn't feel that he could win Quebec in the next federal election, a failure that he felt would hand Justin Trudeau a second term as prime minister.

That O'Leary was one of the front-runners seems clear. This severely limited his growth potential, taking 20 to 30 per cent of votes off the table entirely.

The party appears to have a choice between a libertarian and a social conservative - a prospect that should have the Liberals rubbing their hands with glee. So he has endorsed him.

"I was singularly unsuccessful in my outreach there", O'Leary said.

Kevin O'Leary has dropped out of the Conservative leadership race.

He is throwing his support behind Quebec rival Maxime Bernier.

Before O'Leary rocked the race by quitting today, he and Bernier were generally considered to be neck-and-neck at the front of the crowded 14-candidate pack.

The party investigated O'Leary's claim and later removed 1,351 names from its membership rolls.

"The Conservative Party needs someone who has the best chance of beating [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau".

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Quebec is not necessary for a Conservative victory.

"This is an opportunity for me to do something I don't believe any Canadians had an opportunity to do", O'Leary said in an interview earlier this year with The Canadian Press.

Despite his efforts, O'Leary won little Conservative caucus support, leading a former Stephen Harper strategist to posit he was the worst-placed candidate to maintain party unity.

Behind the scenes, however, O'Leary has been mulling the idea for about a week, say sources, ever more convinced that as leader, he might never be able to rally enough support in Quebec to deliver a majority Conservative mandate in 2019.

There is also the issue that the ballots have already been printed and mailed.

While Bernier and O'Leary have been running neck-and-neck, O'Leary said the ranked ballot system being used in the race made his own victory unlikely.

The National Post explained that O'Leary is all in for Bernier, pledging to do whatever it takes to help him.

As a result, the Quebec MP who likes to call himself "Mad Max" had a big target on his back from his remaining rivals.

Unless and until that happens, it seems that Bernier now stands alone as the front-runner in this race.

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