Scott Walker dropped out of the 2016 presidential campaign on Monday. His inability to gain much traction was the direct result of being, well, boring. That image made what Walker said on his way out the door all the more interesting.
Here’s the key passage (his full statement is at the bottom of this post):
Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.
I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and — ultimately — to the future of our country.
Part of this is, of course, Walker sloughing off responsibility for simply not being able to get people excited about his candidacy. His decision to drop out of the race wasn’t about the fact that he was at 0 percent in a CNN poll that came out on Sunday; it was a selfless decision for the good of the party. Righto.
But, regardless of his motivations, what Walker said is both true and rarely spoken about by candidates leaving races.
Walker rightly diagnoses that a crowded field — particularly a field jam-packed with elected officials — works to Donald Trump’s benefit. (Walker never used Trump’s name in his announcement Monday night, but there’s not a whole heck of a lot of doubt about who he was talking about.) Trump has a hard ceiling — probably in the low-to-mid 30s — in the Republican field due to the (still) large number of GOP voters who say they would never vote for him. That’s not enough to win a one-on-one race, but it’s plenty to hold on as the frontrunner in a field that includes 15 candidates — many of whom are consistently taking between 0 and 3 or 4 percent in national and early-state polls.
SOURCE: Chris Cillizza
The Washington Post