Jon Huntsman, the most qualified, moderate Republican candidate for president withdrew from the race today after a poor showing in New Hampshire and polls showing that he trailed a TV personality who isn't even on the ballot in Saturday's South Carolina primary. Before sheepishly endorsing Mitt Romney, Huntsman complained about how mean the other candidates are. “This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in American history,” Huntsman said, apparently never seeing those awesome attack ads John Adams launched against Thomas Jefferson in 1800.
One Huntsman advisor explained the candidate's dilemma to the Washington Post: “There was no sense standing in the way of Romney. Every vote we took in South Carolina and Florida was from him." Indeed most Huntsman supporters have noted in polling that their second choice is Romney, but Huntsman never had that much support in South Carolina, so the immediate effect of Huntsman dropping out is nil.
Currently Romney is in the lead in South Carolina at 29%, with Gingrich in second with 22%, and Ron Paul and Santorum rounding out the frontrunners at 15% and 14% respectively. Rick Perry sits at 5%, but at least he and his son Griffin enjoyed a delicious breakfast a McDonalds this morning.