Brutal stat shows how far one of the GOP's early favourites has plummeted

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has endured a significant slide in polls this summer, as he has plunged from one of the early favourites to win the Republican nomination to an afterthought.

A new CNN poll released Sunday exemplified his fall in striking terms: Walker has fallen to “asterisk” status at the bottom of the results.

That means he didn’t even receive one-half of 1% support from Republican primary voters.

His position is now among the lower tier of Republican candidates who have been relegated to the two “undercard” debates — like former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), and US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), who has been featured in both of the lower-tier debates, registered more support than Walker.

It’s a rather stunning slide from July, when 10% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said he would be their first choice as nominee. That put him in third place behind front-runner Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). Even in August, Walker was tied for fourth.

For much of the early part of the year, he led the field in the key first-caucus state of Iowa. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll of the race, he’s now at 3% in the state.

Two subpar debate performances and an inability to stand out on the trail have contributed to Walker’s slide. For its part, Walker’s campaign dismissed the poll slide earlier this month, saying it was still in good position to turn around his fortunes.

“We’re doing what we need to do on the ground, and we’re doing what we need to do to get Republicans engaged and motivated,” a Walker campaign spokesperson told Business Insider. “That is work that you don’t always see in the news but certainly pays dividends in the end.”

Walker has sought to start the turnaround by refocusing his effort and energy into Iowa — placing “virtually all his chips” there, according to Bloomberg Politics’ John McCormick. He plans to spend at least 10 days each month in the state.

But McCormick’s accounting of Walker’s weekend gave more evidence of Walker’s plunge.

“The signs of his precipitous fall were all too vivid Sunday afternoon inside Serena’s Coffee Café in Amana, Iowa, where about 40 stoic supporters showed up for his first retail campaign event in the state since Wednesday’s debate,” McCormick reported.

“Gone were most of the network television cameras that had followed Walker much of the summer. Just one network was on hand, along with one reporter-photographer from a nearby station in Cedar Rapids. A second event at a Pizza Ranch in Vinton, Iowa, brought out another small crowd, along with one local TV camera.”

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