Saturday 17 March 2018

Walker drops out of Republican race for the presidency

Scott Walker
Scott Walker
Carly Fiorina, left, appears during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Ruth Sherlock in Washington

Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, is to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Mr Walker (47), who led polls in the early summer, had seen support plummet as he was overtaken by other candidates from outside the political sphere, including Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina.

He joins Rick Perry, the former Texas Governor, as one of the first candidates to pull out of the race, and will return to his job in Wisconsin where his term runs until 2018.

Mr Walker had portrayed himself as "aggressively normal" and campaigned on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, trying to appeal to religious conservatives and anti-tax campaigners.

He also touted his success in Wisconsin which has not voted Republican in a presidential election since 1984.

In his home state, Mr Walker had taken on unions and received death threats after slashing education spending, with $250 million in cuts to the budget of the University of Wisconsin.

At one point he topped polls with 25pc support among Republican voters.

However, he failed to shine in the first two televised Republican presidential debates and appeared indecisive on several major issues.

Mr Walker initially said he backed Mr Trump's policy of building a wall along the Mexico border, but then changed his mind and described the idea as ridiculous.

In a poll released on Sunday, his support among Republican voters had fallen to less than 0.5pc.

Other candidates will now compete to attract money from donors who had been supporting Mr Walker.

Over the summer he was reported to have amassed a campaign war chest of $20m but the money dried up as his poll numbers fell

One Republican strategist said that, even before last week's televised debate was over, officials from rival candidates' campaigns were calling Mr Walker's donors to tell them he was "dead in the water" and urging them to switch allegiance.

Irish Independent

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