Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity....This is one common reaction:
[One] supporter said that Mr. Walker’s fund-raising had dried up after his decline in the polls....
In the most recent CNN survey, Mr. Walker drew support nationally from less than one-half of one percent of Republican primary voters.
For people who say personality doesn't matter in a presidential race, I have two words for you: Scott Walker.— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) September 21, 2015
Yes, Walker was dull as dishwater. But Ben Carson is in the top tier, and, as Timothy Egan put it over the weekend, Carson regularly "looks like he can't find his glasses after waking up from a long nap." So what's going on?
Walker led the field early in the year because he'd persuaded a lot of voters that he was the guy who knew how to pummel enemies into submission. Unions busted! Three electoral victories in four years! All in a state that consistently votes blue in presidential elections! He was that and he was a soft-spoken suburbanite with a great love for Jesus.
What happened was that Donald Trump came to seem like a much more powerful agent of revenge. Walker's vengeance was in the past, but Trump's was in the present -- he was currently infuriating the political world (and anyone who criticized him) with his low but effective cheap schoolyard attacks.
So Walker lost the revanchist vote to Trump -- and at the same time, voters in search of a quiet, deeply Christian detester of liberalism gravitated to Ben Carson, who isn't sullied by having held elected office and whose blackness probably gives GOP voters a frisson of excitement that his actual personality doesn't provide.
Horserace journalists say that every candidate occupies a "lane," but most straddle a couple of lanes. Walker was in exactly two -- and in each one an outsider roared past him. So he was left in the dust.