There were high hopes for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign — just this spring, Walker's name was often mentioned among the likely Republican front-runners. But today, it's all over. In a surprise news conference in Madison, WI, the governor said he'll no longer be seeking the GOP nomination. The decision comes just a few days after the second televised debate, where Walker again failed to stand out. His campaign has reportedly been having fundraising trouble — and has been faring dismally in the polls. In a CNN/ORC poll released Sunday evening, Walker polled at 0% in many categories, including the most important one: who voters would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Earlier on Monday, Walker capped a tweet about property taxes in Wisconsin with his campaign hashtag #Walker16. Just a few hours later, the Associated Press report that "two people familiar with his decision" confirmed that Walker would pack it in came out.
Walker is most famous for his aggressive union-busting as Wisconsin governor, and organized labor has been cheering his withdrawl. The President of the AFL-CIO greeted the announcement with this tweet.
Walker's rapid descent has been a favorite subject of political pundits for some time. He announced his candidacy for president in January, and many sources and outlets, including Refinery29, suggested he would pose a substantial threat to GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush. When the volatile Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Walker teetered. Equivocal statements, such as his rebuffing the idea that he's a career politician, left him in murky waters. "I'm just a normal guy," he said. "A career politician, in my mind, is someone who's been in Congress for 25 years." Walker's been an elected official for 22 years. In the first and second GOP debates, Walker's performance was similarly lackluster. The same CNN/ORC poll asked voters which candidate they thought did best at the second debate, which aired this past Wednesday. Not a single respondent chose Walker. Walker will become the second candidate to drop out of the race — former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his decision to leave on September 11. Fifteen GOP candidates remain.