Jon Huntsman is quitting the Republican presidential race, and will endorse Mitt Romney in the process. Huntsman is reportedly bowing to the inevitable after his disappointing showing in the New Hampshire primary earlier this month, a contest that he had hoped to win.
Huntsman’s candidacy never really took off, and he failed to make an impact with voters. Most analysts argue that he showed himself to be too moderate for a party that is lurching ever rightwards. But he also, arguably, failed to really define himself in a race that has been filled with big personalities.
Will Huntsman be back in 2016? Possibly, but only if the part moves back towards the centre. Meanwhile, his departure leaves five candidates standing: frontrunner Mitt Romney, who could have the contest almost sewn up if he wins in South Carolina; Ron Paul, who could yet defeat Romney; Newt Gingrich, who seems to be slipping back; Rick Santorum, who is flagging badly; and Rick Perry, who is likely to be the next to quit the race.