Jon Stewart broke the news last week on "The Daily Show"—or at least he broke it to Jon Huntsman: After finishing third in the New Hampshire primary, Huntsman’s campaign for the presidency was over. (Watch the video below.)
It took a week, but Huntsman got the message. The former Utah governor and ambassador to China is set to officially drop out on Monday, less than a week before the South Carolina primary, according to numerous reports.
Huntsman had said that his New Hampshire showing had punched his ticket to the next primary, and on Sunday, South Carolina’s The State newspaper endorsed him. “While Mr. Romney is far more appealing than any of the other choices, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is more principled, has a far more impressive resume and offers a significantly more important message,” the newspaper said in its editorial. “Mr. Huntsman is a true conservative, with a record and platform of bold economic reform straight out of the free-market bible, but he’s a realist, whose goal is likewise to get things done. Under his leadership, Utah led the nation in job creation, and the Pew Center on the States ranked it the best-managed state in the nation.”
Huntsman had also received the endorsement of the Boston Globe, but despite the media fanfare his candidacy received, it failed to gain much traction with the Republican rank and file. With relatively little funding, Huntsman reportedly concluded that his chances of wresting the nomination from Mitt Romney – who holds a 21 percentage point lead in the latest South Carolina polling – were also small.
In an earlier South Carolina poll by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, Huntsman garnered just 4 percent support, less than the 5 percent of primary voters who said they would pick comedian (and South Carolina native) Stephen Colbert.
Huntsman will endorse Romney this week, according to The New York Times.
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