WASHINGTON, September 21, 2015 — In a campaign season filled with surprises, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, once a favorite of the odds makers and voters, has dropped out of the GOP race. His poll numbers had fallen almost to zero.
Fox News’s Neil Cavuto confirmed Walker’s decision during his show and on Twitter:
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) September 21, 2015
Walker is expected to hold news conference at 6pm ET in Madison, WI.
The New York Times reports that Walker says “he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
“The short answer is money,” said a Walker supporter who was briefed on the decision. “He’s made a decision not to limp into Iowa.”
Early on, Walker was seen as one of the favored sons of the GOP. He started out at the top of the polls, but the onslaught of political outsiders, particularly Donald Trump, showed that voters are turning their backs on career politicians. Walker follows former Texas Governor Rick Perry in this early departure from the race.
Today’s announcement comes after a series political missteps. Walker in-artfully handled questions on evolution, his faith and the faith of President Obama, the rapid hiring and firing of Republican consultant Liz Mair, and the impact of the Trump-Fiorina-Carson trifecta. Coupled with his own lack of national visibility, his missteps left him floundering.
In the most recent CNN survey, Walker drew support nationally from less than one-half of one percent of likely Republican primary voters. He faced growing pressure to shake up his campaign staff, a step he was loath to take, according to Republicans briefed on his deliberations.