This week both Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee pulled out of the GOP nomination pool of presidential candidates. Many political analysts across both sides of the political divide agreed that Trump wasn't a serious contender, however Huckabee's candidacy looked promising. Where Trump was flamboyant and outrageous, Huckabee was likeable and charismatic; Trump was self-promoting; Huckabee was introspective.
Huckabee was leading in the polls so his resignation came as somewhat of a surprise to many. The winning combination of charisma and his strong Christian values were undisputed, “To political professionals, that means a candidate who can appeal to social conservatives, mostly in the South. But people who have worked with Huckabee know that it's something more than that, and it's not terribly complicated: A lot of voters are looking for a candidate they can like as much as they liked the former governor of Arkansas” (Washington Examiner). It's his magnetic personality combined with the perception of being the underdog, which American's love to rally behind, that may have contributed to his high poll ratings. But in his statement on his website he attributes his decision to drop out of the race was due to prayerful introspection and his belief that running for the presidency without “God's blessing is unthinkable”.
Trump on the other hand, was under pressure from NBC, the network that carries his reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice”, to have a decision to them by Monday concerning the upcoming season, the day he announced that he was pulling out of the race. “Even as he bowed out, Trump, 64, retained his trademark braggadocio, insisting he would have won the White House had he run. "Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector," he wrote in a long statement (Philadelphia Enquirer)”. "This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country" (PBS). Typical of Trump's bravado and disregard for facts, his standing has actually dropped significantly since last month's polls, “Trump led the field with 26 percent in the April poll but this month is at 8 percent support among Republicans surveyed (Reuters).
The exciting part of this week's announcements mean that that Trump's resignation makes room for serious debate, since reporters won't need to function as barkers at his personal sideshow. There are still a number of candidates who platforms and histories will provide plenty of lively discussion as we come to know them.