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Rick Santorum follows Rand Paul in exit from presidential race

In this photo taken Jan. 19,  former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with voters in Greenfield, Iowa. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
In this photo taken Jan. 19, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with voters in Greenfield, Iowa. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Times

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won Iowa’s 2012 caucuses, ended his presidential campaign Wednesday and endorsed Marco Rubio for president.

“It is time to coalesce around the strongest candidate who will stand up for conservative values, be a statesman on the world stage and has the ability to win a general election,” Santorum said in a statement.

Santorum, whose campaign failed to gain traction and court powerful donors, was a favorite of evangelicals four years ago, but garnered only 1 percent of the vote Monday night in Iowa and has long lagged in the polls in other states.

Monday’s results have winnowed the GOP presidential field. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another previous Iowa winner, withdrew Monday night. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky withdrew earlier Wednesday.

On the Democratic side, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley dropped out Monday night.

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