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National News

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson ends presidential campaign

Credit: Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch

Robin Opsahl, Iowa Capital Dispatch
January 16, 2024

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson dropped his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination Tuesday following the Iowa caucuses.

Hutchinson received 0.2 percent of votes in the Iowa Republican caucuses Monday night, receiving 191 votes according to state party results. Hutchinson congratulated former President Donald Trump on his win in Iowa while announcing the suspension of his campaign.

“My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front runner did not sell in Iowa,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “I stand by the campaign I ran. I answered every question, sounded the warning to the GOP about the risks in 2024, and presented hope for our country’s future.”

Trump won the caucuses with 51 percent of the vote. Hutchinson came in fifth out of six candidates, ahead of only former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who did not campaign in Iowa.

The former governor launched his presidential campaign in April 2023. Hutchinson was an outspoken Trump opponent on the campaign trail in Iowa and other early states, calling for the former president to drop out of the race. He said Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection and the numerous legal battles he faces have “disqualified” him from serving as president, and called for Republicans to pick another candidate to take on President Joe Biden in the 2024 general election.

Hutchinson’s “warning” to Republican voters about a 2020 rematch between Biden and Trump in the upcoming election did not gain traction with Iowa GOP caucusgoers. Polling of other early state contests and national voters also show Trump holding a strong lead – though former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was gaining ground in New Hampshire ahead of the Jan. 23 primary. Data compiled by FiveThirtyEight show Trump at 43.5 percent and Haley at 30.6 percent in New Hampshire in recent polls.

Hutchinson said he was grateful for “the opportunity to have fought in the political arena for America” as a presidential candidate. He has not made an endorsement for the 2024 Republican nominee. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who ended his campaign Monday following the Iowa caucuses, endorsed Trump.

This story was originally published by Iowa Capital Dispatch, which is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.