Jim Gilmore was always a bit of a dreamer for even being in the race. He refused to campaign as an underdog, though — to attack the frontrunners and go out on a limb with a few policy proposals, despite advice to the contrary. He campaigned more like a frontrunner, whipping out his resume all the time during debates (“Well, I dealt with that when I was director of ….”).
His explanation for why he’s dropping out has the feel to it that he hasn’t foreclosed the possibility of a future run.
In the meantime, though, Gilmore may be angling for John Warner’s Senate seat, should the latter retire — a much more realistic opportunity. There are an awful lot of Republicans in Virginia who would prefer him to moderate Rep. Tom Davis (R.,Va.), who is definitely in the hunt.