When running for president, you can win in the conventional sense by raising lots of money, beating the competition, getting the most votes and finishing in first place. Or you can fail to get traction and drop out, but still “win” by raising issues, shaping the debate, conducting yourself with dignity, and inspiring supporters to the point where they won’t back anyone else.
If you wind up in the second camp, you can still live to fight another day. You can make another bid for the White House again in a few years, or land on a short list to be named the eventual nominee’s running mate, or even retire from politics altogether with a stronger brand and national name recognition. The point is to not make enemies, make a fool of yourself, or make supporters sorry they backed you. If you avoid those mistakes, losing need not be fatal.