In the stacked list of Republican Party hopefuls vying for the nomination to represent the GOP in the 2016 presidential race, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker looked to be a top choice. Walker dropped out of the race Monday but considering the frontrunners and his poor numbers, he won’t necessarily be missed.
Gov. Walker entered the GOP primary in July with strong numbers in Iowa, an important battleground state for the party. After gaining a reputation as a tough, union-busting politician in a state that often skewed towards liberal policies, Walker’s entry into the race looked to be the smart play.
But the numbers told a totally different story.
Despite strong support from conservatives and strong financial support to his campaign, Walker failed to connect with the base outside of Iowa and was clearly gunshy in the face of reporters checking him on the issues that mattered most to voting Americans. Add in two lackluster and seemingly phoned-in appearances at the GOP presidential debates to date and Walker looked less formidable than ever before. In a recent poll, Walker scored a telling zero percent overall.
In a news conference from Madison, Wisc., Walker explained briefly why he was deciding to leave the race.
As reported by CNN:
“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately,” Walker said at a news conference in Madison, Wisconsin.
He encouraged other trailing Republican candidates to follow his path.
“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” said Walker, referencing businessman Donald Trump. “This is fundamentally important to the future of our party, and, more important, the future of the country.”
With Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry leaving the field, the GOP now have 15 candidates to sift through before a nominee is named. Mogul Donald Trump and surgeon Ben Carson lead their party in the polls.
The Democratic Party has a field of five candidates in the running, not including a potential and yet unannounced run from Vice President Joe Biden.