Mike Huckabee is down to his last card, call it a sympathy card. He says he’ll drop out of the Republican presidential race if he doesn’t finish in the top three in the Iowa caucus — a remote possibility based on polling to date.

He made the statement in an Iowa radio interview. He’s spending virtually all time and resources there in hopes of rekindling the support that gave him a victory in the state in 2008. Other new faces have drawn from the old Huckabee base, notably Ted Cruz. Asked what it would take to stay in, Huckabee responded:

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“Well, I mean historically, we’ve always said there are three tickets out of Iowa, you have to come in No. 1, 2 or 3. I think in many ways that’s probably still the case,” he said.

“It may be that if you’re a close second or a close third, that’s very good. If you’re a distant third, then maybe there’s not a way to go on. I think you have a good hard look at it after Iowa.”