Kentucky Senator Rand Paul ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday citing a lack of resources and waning support. The move comes after a weak showing in the Iowa caucus and polling in New Hampshire which doesn’t indicate an opening for Paul to continue.
Report from Politico:
Rand Paul dropped out of the 2016 president race on Wednesday, short on cash and support, two days after finishing with under 5 percent in the Iowa caucuses — less than one quarter of the support his father had drawn four years earlier.
The Kentucky senator, who pitched his libertarian-infused brand of conservatism as transformational for the Republican Party, will exit the national stage and instead run for reelection to the Senate. His moment in the 2016 campaign never materialized.
“Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I,” Paul said in a statement.
Paul told senior staff about his decision on Tuesday. Other staff were notified Tuesday evening and the entire Paul campaign was told via a conference call on Wednesday morning at about 8:45, according to a campaign source. In that call the Kentucky senator talked about smaller government, continuing his fight for “liberty” and the Fourth Amendment.
At the moment, Paul is pulling almost three percent on average in New Hampshire. He is also pulling about two percent in South Carolina. I’m not sure where his supporters will end up, but in a competitive primary, every little bit counts. Something tells me some of his supporters will not go to any of the candidates, specifically if they’re looking for a libertarian bent. In that realm, Ted Cruz could end up reaping some of the reward as he’s tried to straddle the libertarian/hawk fence on several issues.
Paul started as a promising candidate with a wide support base though he was never able to materialize much support in a Republican primary where a hawkish foreign policy is winning the day. No word yet on whether Paul will endorse another candidate.