Dropout Season Is Upon Us

A man in overalls drives a tractor filled with about 10 people, several of them waving, down a paved street.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez with family and campaign staff at the Iowa State Fair, riding what would ultimately be … a tractor to nowhere. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Finally, the Republican presidential “winnowing” process is underway: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was the first of the duds to announce, on Tuesday, that he will suspend his presidential campaign. That frees his zero percent of supporters to flock to a new candidate. To whom will they go?

Suarez was left with little choice but to drop out after he didn’t make the Aug. 23 debate, having previously said that candidates should quit if they don’t make the debate. (The Suarez campaign claimed that it met the donor threshold for the stage but couldn’t meet the polling requirement, and blamed that in part on his not being included in enough surveys.)

But it took him a few days. The Suarez campaign, as NBC News reported Monday, went dark after missing the debate. The candidate hasn’t held any events since Aug. 17. His Twitter account was silent. His super PAC’s spending slowed to a trickle.

On Tuesday, Suarez took NBC News’ hint and officially announced the end of his candidacy with an exceptionally long post. He had pitched his 10-week candidacy on creating a diverse, youthful, forward-looking Republican Party that stopped nominating terrifying figures—the kind that like to frighten voters by staring at them from the inside of 7-Eleven freezers—in every important election.

“The Left has taken Hispanics for granted for far too long, and it is no surprise that so many are finding a home in America’s conservative movement,” he said. “Our party must continue doing more to include and attract this vibrant community that believes in our country’s foundational values: faith, family, hard work and freedom. Younger voters, Independents, urban voters and suburban women—all of whom I’ve carried in previous elections—among others, should find a comfortable home in the GOP and its policies.”

Yeah, well, a lot of people should do a lot of things.

What were the highlights of Suarez’s campaign? There were, as we recall, two (2) things that happened.

Otherwise, that’s—oh, oh, there was a third!

Who will drop out next? It could be a couple of other candidates who didn’t make the debate, like Perry Johnson or Larry Elder, although their very entries into the race suggested that they are not rational actors. Those unknowns who only barely made the debate, like Asa Hutchinson and Doug Burgum, could be next. Among those with major name recognition who are getting little traction, though, it’s typically a matter of when the money runs out. So, I’d encourage you to look at the Q2 “ending cash on hand” field at the bottom of this particular campaign finance report.