Jon Huntsman hit the road today in South Carolina. He announced he would halt his bid for the GOP Presidential nomination at a news conference in Myrtle Beach. His wife and daughters flanked him at the podium as he stroked his key points like America's 'trust deficit'. He also tossed his single digit support to front runner, Mitt Romney.
At this point, this is fairly surprising to see Jon pull out. Yes, he was in single digits with polling data, but Huntsman did have a couple of positives rolling for him with the South Carolina primary just five days away. First, he had a good third place finish just a week ago in New Hampshire. Also, he just received the full endorsement from South Carolina's largest circulating newspaper, 'The State'. This endorsement was highly sought after by all candidates.
What caused the sudden stop? Here's a couple of possibilities... Polling. He continued to maintain just a 3-4% polling versus other candidates in South Carolina and nationally. He did not see a bounce in his numbers coming out of New Hampshire. Money. Yes, his dad padded his efforts in New Hampshire from his purse strings. But, how long could he ask his dad for an allowance when the public was not giving. Florida. After South Carolina, the Florida primary is just 10 days away. Florida requires millions of dollars for just advertising. Organization. He only had a small operation in New Hampshire. He would not have the flexibility or funding to effectively set up campaign operations in Florida or elsewhere. Deal. There was a report on Fox News stating the Romney campaign had been in discussion with Huntsman to drop for who knows what future office or ambassador position. The Unknown. Politicians typically do have a couple of skeletons somewhere in their closet. Sometimes when there is an abrupt withdrawal, someone might have the goods on you. So, you pull out to save your neck, family or credibility. It's called opposition research, and it works.
Bottom line, Huntsman was running out of cash and never could get any traction with the voters. Jon can now head back to Utah with his beautiful family after a couple of photo ops with Romney.