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Republican Scott Walker to drop out of presidential race

Scott Walker is dropping out of the Republican race for president, it is reported.

The Wisconsin governor planned a news conference for this evening in Madison, where he was expected to become the second major Republican candidate to quit the race.

Mr Walker tried to capitalise on his record taking on unions and got off to a strong start after a well-received speech to Iowa conservatives in January, formally launching his campaign in July.

But the 47-year-old Mr Walker fell after a series of stumbles on the campaign trail and forgettable performances in the early Republican debates.

Mr Walker joins former Texas governor Rick Perry as two early 2016 drop-outs.

Mr Walker plans to say he is suspending his White House campaign "so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field", according to prepared remarks released by his campaign.

Mr Walker says he is encouraging other Republicans in the still sizeable field to do the same.

That is needed so "voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner".

Mr Walker says offering an alternative to billionaire property mogul Donald Trump is "fundamentally important" to the future of the Republicans and the country.

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