Aides of moderate Jon Huntsman announced today that the Republican Presidential Candidate is to withdraw from the nomination race after disappointing results in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. He intended to contest South Carolina but when poor polling figures continued here – underlined by the fact that spoof candidate, comedian Stephen Colbert, garnered higher polling figures – he decided to drop out.
Though his personal wealth, obvious intelligence and TV-pleasing appearance should have given him a huge advantage over most of the other candidates, Jon Huntsman appeared to suffer from four disadvantages:
- He’s a Mormon whilst the Republican party has many Christian evangelical supporters who consider Mormonism a cult.
- He served as Ambassador to China when asked by the Republican’s current nemesis, Barack Obama.
- He’s the most moderate of the candidates when social and fiscal conservatism are the GOP’s flavour of the month (and year and possibly decade)
- He was the only candidate who refused to sign Americans For Tax Reform’s pledge not to raise taxes ever. Did Grover Norquist’s lobby group help keep him off the Republican ticket?
With Jon Huntsman out of the race only five candidates remain. South Carolina’s primary takes place on Saturday 21st of January, 2012. Huntsman is likely to endorse the only other moderate candidate, front-runner Mitt Romney, who now looks set to win the nomination, but if Barack Obama secures another term in office watch out for Huntsman running again in 2016.