SCOTT BROWN: ADIOS. CIAO. BYE. ADIOS. BYE. CIAO. He can now return to the one thing he is really good at…

Scott Walker drops out of 2016 presidential race

Scott Walker is dropping out of the Republican presidential race, multiple sources confirm to CNN.
The Wisconsin governor entered the primary in July as a front-runner in Iowa and a darling of both the conservative base and powerful donors after winning battles against public unions in his left-leaning home state. But that promising start was quickly dashed after poor debate performances dried up support from donors.
Walker has called a 6 p.m. ET news conference in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is expected to announce his decision to withdraw from the race.
The governor called some of his top supporters earlier Monday afternoon informing them of his decision, according to one Walker insider. This person said Walker’s recent plummet in the polls was a big factor in his decision-making.
He sounded “upbeat,” they said, and his message to supporters was, “I did the best I could.”
Walker made “the Pawlenty decision,” one strategist said, referring to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 2011 decision to drop out before piling up considerable debt.
This decision came as no surprise to people working in Madison, one of whom described the last several weeks as “agony.”
Moving forward, Walker said the best use of his and the party’s time would be to dedicate all resources to the eventual nominee.
Walker’s exit comes 10 days after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the first Republican to drop out of the 2016 race. It indicates the start of a winnowing process of a field that once numbered 17 candidates — many of whom have struggled to gain oxygen in a summer in which headlines and polls have been dominated by Donald Trump. With Walker’s departure, the field stands at 15 candidates.

BYE SCOTT WALKER! Cancels campaign events in multiple states

Scott Walker, polling at 3% nationally, cancels campaign events in multiple states

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is refocusing his Republican presidential campaign on Iowa and South Carolina, where his early popularity in opinion polls has crumbled with the ascent of Donald J. Trump, and he has taken the unusual step of canceling major speeches in Michigan and California this coming week to spend time in those two crucial states.

Mr. Walker, who has fallen in one key Iowa poll from first place in July to 10th place this month, no longer plans to appear next weekend at a prestigious Republican conference on Mackinac Island in Michigan or at the California Republican Party convention. Instead, his advisers said, he plans to campaign in Iowa — where he is holding events this weekend as well — and in South Carolina.

Mr. Walker’s advisers said the last-minute cancellations were not a sign of panic about the viability of his presidential bid but rather a recognition that at this point his time and campaign funds are better spent on Iowa and South Carolina. Mr. Walker regards Iowa, which will hold the nation’s first presidential nominating contest on Feb. 1, as virtually a must-win state that would energize his supporters and donors nationwide. And he has long seen South Carolina, which votes later that month, as another winnable early state that could give him momentum and stature in a large field of Republican candidates.

By skipping the events in California and Michigan, two states with larger and more diverse electorates than Iowa and South Carolina, as well as more delegates at stake to help win the nomination, Mr. Walker risks diminishing himself. Once a national front-runner, he increasingly looks like a regional candidate — hoping his Midwestern roots will win him Iowa — who is pursuing single-state strategies rather than projecting confidence across the country.

His advisers said his political message — “Wreak havoc on Washington,” inspired by his record of tax cuts and labor and education overhauls in Wisconsin — held broad appeal that would lead to victories in primaries and caucuses after Iowa and South Carolina. They said the travel changes this month were not a reflection of money troubles or weak fund-raising, though one adviser noted that Mr. Walker has had to spend more time at political events in Iowa and elsewhere than at fund-raisers.

By skipping the events in California and Michigan, two states with larger and more diverse electorates than Iowa and South Carolina, as well as more delegates at stake to help win the nomination, Mr. Walker risks diminishing himself. Once a national front-runner, he increasingly looks like a regional candidate — hoping his Midwestern roots will win him Iowa — who is pursuing single-state strategies rather than projecting confidence across the country.

His advisers said his political message — “Wreak havoc on Washington,” inspired by his record of tax cuts and labor and education overhauls in Wisconsin — held broad appeal that would lead to victories in primaries and caucuses after Iowa and South Carolina. They said the travel changes this month were not a reflection of money troubles or weak fund-raising, though one adviser noted that Mr. Walker has had to spend more time at political events in Iowa and elsewhere than at fund-raisers.

Mr. Walker is likely to spend most if not all of January campaigning in Iowa before the caucuses, said this adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy. Mr. Walker is aiming to visit all 99 counties in Iowa before the caucuses as a way to build support among Republicans there, in the spirit of successful campaigns like Charles E. Grassley’s Senate runs and Rick Santorum’s presidential bid in 2012.

Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for Mr. Walker, confirmed that the Michigan and California speeches were off but did not attribute any great meaning to the cancellations. Mr. Walker will be in California on Wednesday night to participate in the Republican presidential debate; he had been scheduled to speak in Michigan on Friday and then be back in California on Saturday.

“Schedule changed and we’re headed to SC and IA,” she wrote in an email on Saturday.

 

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