Republican Lindsey Graham drops out of 2016 presidential race

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during the Republican presidential debate in Las VegasBy John Whitesides WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Lindsey Graham, a respected conservative voice on defense and foreign policy issues, dropped out of the 2016 Republican presidential race on Monday after months of barely registering in opinion polls. Graham struggled to gain traction in a crowded Republican field dominated by front-runner Donald Trump, and he faced the potentially embarrassing prospect of being trounced in the Feb. 20 primary in his home state of South Carolina. Graham, an early and staunch advocate of using U.S. ground troops against Islamic State, said his long-shot campaign had made headway in influencing the party’s debate on the conflict.

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