BREAKING: Rick Santorum Drops Out

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum is out.

That is the word from CNN as sources are telling them Rick Santorum will announce Wednesday he is ending his run for the presidency. The decision from the former Pennsylvania senator leaves eight men and one woman running for the Republican nomination.

Santorum surprised many analysts in 2012 when he came from single digits to win the Iowa caucus, besting eventual nominee Mitt Romney by a very slim margin. Because the caucus results took longer in 2012 than it did on Monday, Santorum was unable to declare victory for several days, preventing the type of momentum he needed to perform well in New Hampshire. He finished fourth in the Granite State. As the campaign dragged on, though, the senator remained resilient, winning a number of midwestern and southern states before finishing in second to Romney.

In elections past, that would be a good footing for vaulting to the nomination the next year. But Santorum’s conservative credentials and his focus on social issues put him at odds with more moderate candidates, a key problem for any Republican needing the northern states to win.

With his dropping out, this will mark the first time since Nelson Rockefeller lost to Barry Goldwater that the runner up did not get the nomination in the next GOP open race. That was in 1964.

Santorum served as representative in the 18th U.S. Congressional District from 1991 to 1995. He was 32 when he was elected, one of the youngest politicians at the time. His popularity in Pennsylvania in pushing against NAFTA and exposing House colleagues who were involved in the House banking scandal that allowed members to overdraw on their accounts without penalties or stoppage of funds.

Those efforts led to his election to the Senate in 1995, where he served two terms in the predominantly blue state before losing in the 2006 election that swept the Democratic Party in control of the House and Senate. After losing, Santorum declined to run for president in the 2008 election, but mounted a campaign for 2012, beginning his visits to Iowa and other early primary states in the fall of 2009. Since then, he has continued his run for the White House, actively working to earn the nomination just months after the 2012 election and logging more time in Iowa than any other Republican candidate.

By bowing out, the race is down to nine candidates; Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jim Gilmore. All but Christie, Kasich and Gilmore have at least one delegate vote for the GOP nomination after the Iowa caucuses on Monday, where Cruz upset Trump and Rubio outperformed in the polls. The remaining candidates are vying for momentum coming from New Hampshire, where the next primary is scheduled for Feb. 10.


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