UPDATE: 10:53 p.m. EST — Is Rick Santorum also dropping out of the 2016 race? Santorum told the Des Moines Register he will take some time to think over the caucus results before making his decision.
UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. EST — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted from his verified account Monday night that he was dropping out of the Republican race for president. Huckabee had the support of about 2 percent of likely GOP primary voters heading into Monday's Iowa caucuses, which CNN called in Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's favor at about 10:30 p.m. EST.
I am officially suspending my campaign. Thank you for all your loyal support. #ImWithHucK
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 2, 2016
Original story: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was expected to suspend his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination after being closed out of the Iowa Democratic caucuses Monday night, various media outlets reported. O’Malley, a two-term governor and former Baltimore mayor, never came close in polls against frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
With 60 percent of the vote, Hillary Clinton was leading the Iowa Democratic caucuses at 51 percent and Bernie Sanders at 49 percent. As O'Malley exited the race, he was considered by some pundits as a viable contender for vice president.
O'Malley always trailed his rivals by a far gap. In the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll before the Iowa caucuses, he saw 3 percent support, within the 4-percentage-point margin of error, while Sanders and Clinton were essentially tied: 26 percent for Clinton and 28 percent for Sanders. Democratic Iowa caucus rules are particularly hard on flailing candidates, who must have support of 15 percent of the caucus-goers in that precinct.
"We have to beat expectations," O'Malley told reporters before the caucuses began. "I'm hoping and working to make my campaign the surprise that comes out of Iowa."
But O'Malley also had to overcome a money problem. During the final quarter of the year, he reported $1.5 million, including a $500,000 loan, compared to $37 million for Clinton and $33.6 million for Sanders in donations.
The New York Times described the tough battle ahead of the O'Malley campaign as it scrambled to round up supporters Monday night. "At 7:21 p.m., there were 18 people in the O’Malley corner, under the threshold for viability," a reporter for the newspaper observed. One Sanders supporter said O'Malley could occupy the White House after a future election.
“It’s hard not to win,” Steve Rose, the Sanders captain, told the New York Times. “But after Bernie leaves office in eight years, O’Malley will be a real good candidate.”