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Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012, 1:53 pm

Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

By Diana Rosen

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Rick Santorum speaks to supporters during a campaign rally on April 4.
(Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced today that he will be suspending his campaign.  Mitt Romney’s campaign confirmed that he received a call from Santorum earlier today, notifying him of the decision. 

 “We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” he announced in Gettysburg, PA today, according to the New York Times.

This announcement comes just two weeks before the primaries in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, where he lost a senatorial election by close to 20 percent six years ago.  Recent polls showed Santorum in danger of losing the state.  There is speculation that his decision to suspend his campaign is partially motivated by his not wanting to appear weak by losing Pennsylvania to Romney. 

His three-year-old daughter has been battling a chromosomal defect Trisomy 18 and has just been hospitalized for a second time.  This reportedly contributed to Santorum's decision. 

Santorum’s withdrawal from the election will leave Romney as the only feasible Republican candidate, although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the race.  While Romney currently holds 661 of the 1,144 required delegates for the nomination, Gingrich and Paul hold 136 and 51, respectively.  Up until this point, Santorum was in second place with 285 delegates. 

Gingrich immediately asked Santorum's supporters to consider joining his campaign, saying in a statement, "I humbly ask Senator Santorum's supporters to visit to review my conservative record and join us as we bring these values to Tampa." 

Paul's campaign released the statement, "Dr. Paul is now the last – and real – conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. We plan to continue running hard, secure delegates, and press the fight for limited, constitutional government in Tampa."

At this time, both candidates plan on remaining in the race through the Republican National Convention in August. 

A poll released on Monday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (before Santorum's withdrawal) showed 74% of Republican voters believing that Romney would be the Republican nominee. 

This story is still developing.  Check back for updates throughout the day.

Diana Rosen is a winter/spring 2012 In These Times editorial intern.

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