The Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial field is shrink­ing, but few of the can­di­dates mat­ter

The news that Gov. Doug Bur­gum (R‑ND) was sus­pend­ing his cam­paign for the 2024 GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion set off fren­zied cries through­out the land: “Doug who?”
Burgum’s with­draw­al rein­forces the fact that the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial field was big on paper, but in prac­tice, only a hand­ful of can­di­dates had any real­is­tic shot of com­pet­ing with the over­whelm­ing front-run­ner, for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.
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A cur­so­ry glance at the Real­Clear­Pol­i­tics nation­al polling aver­age tells the tale. Only three can­di­dates are in the dou­ble dig­its. Entre­pre­neur Vivek Ramaswamy is just below 5%. Every­one else is below 3%, with Bur­gum bring­ing up the rear at 0.6%. (Though the lat­est Trafal­gar poll does have for­mer New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie at 6%.)
Trump is far and away the leader of the pack at 61 …