Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is bowing out of the 2016 presidential race. Walker made the announcement during a press conference in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday night.
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“Today I believe 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,” said Walker.
Explaining his departure, Walker took aim at Donald Trump and the 14 GOP contenders vying for the White House.
“I encourage other Republican candidates to consider doing the same so that voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” said Gov. Walker. “This is important to the party and more importantly to the future of our country.”
He added that he thinks “voters want to be for something not against someone.”
Walker is the second GOP candidate to abandon his bid following Gov. Rick Perry’s departure more than a week ago.
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In a CNN/ORC poll out Sunday, Walker received less than one-half of 1 percentage point from Republican primary voters. He is not alone, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former New York Gov. George Pataki share the ranking.
At one point, he was favored by conservatives leading the field in key early voting states such as Iowa. Walker’s fall from grace has been dramatic in recent months; in a CNN/ORC poll out in early September, Walker’s support dropped to 5%.
According to Fox News Political Analyst Ed Collins, there are a couple of GOP contenders that could gain recognition with Walker’s departure.
“I think the two talented governors still in the race, Bush and Kasich have great records and if they get out of the big debate forum they will be favored,” said Collins.
“They are establishment candidates with great records as governors and I feel once the field is narrowed down a little more they will stand out.”
He added, “candidates like Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina will eventually knock each other out of the race.”
Currently ranked in third place, Dr. Ben Carson sent out the following statement:
“Gov. Walker is an outstanding leader with a strong record of fighting for conservative principles. I wish him the very best.”
Republican front-runner Donald Trump took to Twitter:
I got to know @ScottWalker well—he’s a very nice person and has a great future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2015