Breaking News: Walker Said To Be Not Just Down But Out

Wow, that was really, really fast (per the New York TimesFirst Draft):

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded 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.

Mr. Walker called a news conference in Madison at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

“The short answer is money,” said a supporter of Mr. Walker’s who was briefed on the decision. “He’s made a decision not to limp into Iowa.”

The supporter said Mr. Walker’s fund-raising had dried up after his decline in the polls and that campaign officials did not feel they could risk going into debt with the race so uncertain. The governor, who was scheduled to be in New York and Washington this week, partly to raise money, had built up an expansive staff, bringing on aides and consultants detailed to everything from Christian conservative outreach to Super Tuesday states. But his fund-raising did not keep pace with the money needed to sustain such an infrastructure.

In the most recent CNN survey, Mr. Walker drew support nationally from less than one-half of one percent of 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.

Yeah, well, if you over-spend even as you are tanking in the polls (which, of course, none of us are supposed to be paying the least bit of attention to, right?), you’re probably going to have to make some changes or pack it in.

On the one hand, this is presumably another step in the “winnowing” needed to produce a unified anti-Trump (or is it anti-Carson or anti-Fiorina) “Establishment” candidate. On the other hand, when you’re down there scratching around at under one percent of the vote, it’s not clear you’re the real problem Bush and Rubio and Kasich and Cruz and the rest of the gang are experiencing.

In the end those who perceived Scott Walker as another Tim Pawlenty were more or less right; indeed, it didn’t even take an Iowa Straw Poll to do Walker in. The other way to look at it is that the GOP moved so far so fast to the right that what it took for Walker to position himself as the “electable conservative” early this year is now laughably squishy.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.