Having faced a number of poor voting results in early campaigning rounds, former US Senator Fred Thompson has decided to withdraw from the presidential race on Tuesday.
Thompson withdrew his candidacy after having faced a third place result in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. This was a crucial win that Thompson hoped to achieve to bolster his campaign. The loss of this state sealed his fate. Having obtained only 16% of the votes from this primary, Thompson found himself running behind John McCain’s 33% and Mike Huckabee’s 30%.
A former senator from Tennessee and star of the hit TV series Law and Order, Thompson entered the race for the White House last September. Though a late entrant, he was able to climb to second place in the national opinion polls that were held subsequently in October. However, his popularity plunged shortly after, as critics began to question his commitment to the job. The former senator’s woes were founded when he failed to win even one in five conservative votes from any of the early primaries and caucuses. Also, support for his candidature was weak amongst white born-again and evangelical Christians. Thompson’s third place finish in Iowa did not make matters better.
As Thompson failed to gain in popularity, his campaign started to face financial constraints. As the losses from his campaign begin to pile up a strategic retreat seemed to be the best option for him. Fellow competitor Mitt Romney commended Fred Thompson’s efforts by stating, “Throughout this campaign, Fred Thompson brought a laudable focus to the challenges confronting our country and the solutions necessary to meet them. He stood for strong conservative ideas and believed strongly in the need to keep our conservative coalition together.”
In the short statement that Thompson released to the press he stated, “I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort.” Thompson’s exit leaves the Republican race wide open ensuring a face off between the remaining contenders at the Florida primary on 29 January.