Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suspended his campaign for the Presidency. The hawk had been marred by low polling. Nationally, he hovered around zero, but he was up to half a percentage point in New Hampshire.
Senator Graham announced his decision in an interview with CNN and then officially announced it in a conference call with supporters and a video posted online.
“While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded this is not my time,” he said.
Senator Graham was stuck in the undercard debates as a result of his poor polling performance. While he was often seen as the winners of those debates with his sharp wit, he failed to break to the main stage, unlike Carly Fiorina. His withdrawal leaves twelve main candidates, three of whom were in the undercard debate.
Graham’s campaign was largely focused on international policy and the need for a military response to ISIS. Graham largely jumped into the race so that his hawkish viewpoint on national security could be heard.
Today was the last day for candidates to withdraw from the South Carolina primary, Graham’s home state. He was pessimistic about his chances, “At the end of the day, I’m not going to be competitive in my state.”
Graham cruised to re-election last year in both the general election and the primary.
Senator John McCain, who had endorsed his friend and assisted his run, said in a statement, “With Senator Lindsey Graham’s announcement, Republicans lost our most qualified, thoughtful, fearless and honest presidential candidate, not to mention the candidate with the best (and it seemed sometimes the only) sense of humor.”