Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has ended his long shot attempt to challenge President Trump in the Republican Primary the AP reports.
“You’ve got to be a realist,” Sanford said in New Hampshire. “What I did not anticipate is an impeachment.”
“It was a longshot, but we wanted to try and interject this issue [of] how much we’re spending, into the national debate which comes along once every four years,” Sanford said. “I don’t think on the Republican side there is any appetite for a nuanced conversation on issues when there’s an impeachment overhead.”
Sanford never seriously threatened Trump for the Republican nomination but his withdrawal may have an effect on the Democratic primary. Anti-Trump conservatives faced a choice between voting for Sanford in the Republican Primary or crossing party lines to vote for a moderate Democrat. With the remaining Republican challengers, Bill Weld and Joe Walsh, representing longer shots than Sanford, it is possible that more disaffected Republicans will go Democrat and help to pull the party to the middle.
Republican primary polling shows Trump with a stranglehold on the primary and challengers with only about two points each. That still leaves about 10 percent of the GOP electorate undecided and some of those voters could eventually abandon Trump, especially as more information about the Ukraine scandal comes out.