ABC News’ Julia Bain Reports: Sen. Sam Brownback will announce he is withdrawing from the presidential race at a press conference tomorrow in Topeka, Kansas.
Brownback has campaigned on a platform built on strong social conservative values. He often describes himself on the campaign trail as a "bleeding heart conservative," and has advocated a "pro-life, whole-life" message. He focused his campaign on values voters, particularly in the state of Iowa, where he hoped to cultivate a grassroots following among caucus goers. Brownback found himself competing against former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for the social conservative block. His departure from the race comes on the eve of a scheduled speech at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Conference in Washington, DC.
In August, Brownback placed a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll, behind Huckabee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, despite the investment of significant time and resources across the state. The campaign had been counting on a strong straw poll showing in Ames to translate to a jump in the polls. In the run-up to the straw poll, Brownback traveled to Iowa almost weekly, and attacked Romney for "flip flopping" on issues of importance to social conservatives.
Fundraising has been a persistent difficulty for Brownback; in the third quarter he brought in just over $900,000, his lowest total to date. He had less than $100,000 in cash on hand at the close of the filing period.
Throughout his candidacy, Brownback has struggled to push poll numbers beyond the low single digits. In recent weeks he told reporters that he would need at least a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses in order to continue in the race.
The two term senator grew up on a farm in Parker, Kansas, population 281. He entered the presidential race on January 20th saying he was taking, "the first steps on the yellow brick road to the White House."