The Republican presidential field is thinning out once again following the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire. Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie announced on 10 February that they were suspending their campaigns
Fiorina first made the announcement in a statement posted on her Facebook page. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who placed seventh in New Hampshire, wrote: "While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them." She added that the Grand Old Party (GOP) should work to "end crony capitalism" and "must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable."
The only woman running for the Republican nomination had enjoyed a brief period of high polling numbers following the first few debates. As time went on, Fiorina appeared to fall behind, joining the ranks of lesser known candidates. During the last GOP debate, Fiorina failed to qualify despite various attempts to rejoin her fellow candidates. On 9 February, she hovered at 4% and was forced to forfeit her percentage to primary winner Donald Trump.
New Jersey Governor Christie also suspended his campaign on 10 February, making the announcement during a campaign staff meeting at around 4pm EST (9pm GMT), according to ABC News. The decision to drop his presidential bid was expected following Christie's weak performance in the Granite State. After admitting defeat and the landing sixth place, Christie said he would return to New Jersey to "take a breath" and take stock of his campaign.
"We came to New Hampshire to bring the message," he told a group of supporters in Nashua, New Hampshire following the results. "The message was heard by a lot of folks. And it was stood for by a lot of folks here in New Hampshire, just not enough." His disappointing end in the state followed a formal endorsement by Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Christie had previously earned the endorsement by major local newspaper The New Hampshire Union Leader.
The GOP field remains fairly full, with six candidates still in the running. The remaining contenders head to South Carolina next, where they will participate in a CBS-hosted debate on 13 February and a state-wide primary election on 20 February.