The Spectacle Blog

Santorum Announces End of Campaign

By on 4.10.12 | 2:39PM

Rick Santorum just concluded a Gettysburg, PA press conference in which he suspended his presidential campaign. Santorum called Mitt Romney to concede the race, but rather pointedly did not endorse him by name in his remarks. He did, however, emphasize the importance of beating Barack Obama and electing Republicans on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Santorum said that his daughter Bella's illness influenced the family's thinking, but he described his little girl as a "fighter" who is "doing exceptionally well." Santorum also faced long odds: after his losses last week, he needed to win more than three-fourths of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination himself and his only realistic scenario was an open convention.

Santorum started the race a long shot, but his strategy of camping out in socially conservative Iowa paid off. He survived a disappointing showing in New Hampshire and Newt Gingrich's South Carolina victory to become the anti-Romney in the race. But Santorum couldn't close the deal in the big industrial states of Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois and was starting to see his lead erode in Pennsylvania. His more than 3 million votes is a bit less than Mike Huckabee got in 2008, but the primaries were also more front-loaded four years ago.

Rick Santorum did well enough to improve his standing among conservatives, tarnished after the 2006 Senate defeat. He went further with less money and organization than anyone (save Quin Hillyer) could have expected. He was also helped by super PAC money. Although Romney is virtually guaranteed the nomination now, I expect Gingrich and Ron Paul to remain in the race.

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