According to the Washington Post:
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has decided to end his presidential candidacy and will formally exit the race on Monday, according to two sources briefed on his thinking. He is expected to endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Huntsman had pledged to soldier on after a disappointing third place finish last week in New Hampshire’s primary. He insisted his showing amounted to a “ticket to ride” to South Carolina.
But, political reality seems to have hit Huntsman and his team over the last few days as polling in the Palmetto State, which will hold its primary on Jan. 21, showed him in single digits.
This inevitable announcement came one month sooner than I predicted, showing that Huntsman is not nearly as deluded as I thought he was.
Conventional wisdom is that this will help Romney, but this is doubtful. First, Huntsman was pulling only about 5% in the South Carolina polls, and this was for an open primary. Second, exit poll data from New Hampshire showed that only 31% of Huntsman’s votes came from registered Republicans. Since in the long haul one must receive votes from actual Republicans in order to win the nomination, the effect of Huntsman’s withdrawal from the race will be negligible. The coveted I-can-speak-pidgin-Chinese-so-I-think-I-am-fluent vote is up for grabs, but that is about it.
It will have a great effect the way the media reports on things, however, as their favorite Republican is no longer running.
- New Hampshire Exit Poll Results Suggest That Huntsman and Paul Have Peaked, Will Not Be Factor (treeofmamre.wordpress.com)
- Jon Huntsman Willl Endorse Mitt Romney For President (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- You: The Caucus: Huntsman Says He’s Quitting G.O.P. Race (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)