President Donald Trump’s dominant performance at the Iowa caucuses on Monday night has led a second GOP presidential candidate to drop out.
On Tuesday former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson announced he is suspending his presidential campaign after coming in sixth and garnering just 191 votes. The two-term former governor even fell hundreds of votes behind Ryan Binkley, a Texas-based evangelical preacher who has waged a longshot bid for the party’s nomination.
“Today, I am suspending my campaign for President and driving back to Arkansas,” Hutchinson wrote in a statement on X. “My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current frontrunner did not sell in Iowa. I stand by the campaign I ran.”
“I answered every question, sounded the warning to the GOP about the risks in 2024 and presented hope for our country’s future. Susan and I are blessed beyond measure, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have for in the political arena for America.”
Here is my statement on the Iowa caucus. pic.twitter.com/uRmlbQtolx
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) January 16, 2024
Gov. Hutchinson remained in the race through five presidential debates despite only qualifying for the first, sticking to his anti-Trump message that the GOP has veered away from its principles in the age of MAGA. His legacy conservatism ultimately did not sell with the enthusiastic base of evangelical Iowans who described President Trump as the country’s “only hope” to stop its slouching toward socialism under President Joe Biden.
Hutchinson’s announcement came less than a day after Vivek Ramaswamy announced the end of his campaign, though the latter chose to endorse Trump and will appear with the frontrunner for a New Hampshire rally Tuesday night. While no candidate was spared the wrath of Trump, Ramaswamy refused to punch back in the campaign’s final days, another sign that he may be jockeying for a high-profile role in a second Trump administration.
With both departures, the field has winnowed to essentially Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley as the only plausible Republican candidates. DeSantis barely edged out a second-place finish in Iowa despite spending an unprecedented sum on a ground game through his super PAC, and Haley’s rise in the polls has provoked open speculation about how much longer he can remain in the race given that his strategy relied solely on a standout showing. Both badly trail President Trump nationally and in most state polls, though Haley has drawn the New Hampshire contest into a single-digit showdown with the former president.