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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

GOP field narrowing, but are candidates really gone?

2012 January 20

By Rachel Hartman, Political Courage Test Department 

One of the most interesting things about the fight for a party nomination is what happens when a candidate decides to no longer actively seek the nomination. Most Republican presidential candidates have spent massive amounts of time building a campaign, crafting their public persona, and raising huge amounts of money for a chance to take on President Obama in November. So, what can we expect from the presidential hopefuls who have finally decided to call it quits and bow out of the race?

After thanking donors and giving a cheery “we fought a good fight” speech at your press conference to announce the end of your campaign, the next step is usually to throw your support behind another candidate. Both Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry called on their supporters to regroup around other candidates while Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain opted out of making immediate endorsements.

Ballot Appearances 
In many states once a candidate has qualified to appear on the primary ballot, regardless of their current running status, they will continue to appear on ballots and could potentially receive votes. South Carolina provides a great example of this situation. The South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for Saturday January, 21 and while in most of our minds there are only 4 candidates still vying for the GOP nomination, one look at the ballot will tell a slightly different story. 

According to the South Carolina elections fact page, none of the nine certified candidates have ...

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