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Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) hedged on his earlier promise to endorse a GOP presidential hopeful, declining to commit to a candidate before the state’s key caucuses.

King said while he still hopes to back a candidate, his selection “just hasn’t come clear” yet.

“This is just hard,” King told Roll Call on Tuesday. “It’s got to come as a conviction, and I don’t want to make a recommendation to people, whether they listen to it or not, that’s not a conviction.”

King previously said he’d endorse a candidate early in the cycle, either in September or October. He did not back former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) in the last presidential cycle until December 2007 — too late, his supporters lamented, to make much of a difference for his chosen candidate.

Now time is running out again for King to leverage his support, with the Jan. 3 caucuses quickly approaching.

If King opts to stay on the sidelines, he’ll have company in his home state.

Rep. Tom Latham (R) has said repeatedly he’ll remain neutral in the race, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) announced in October he would not back a presidential candidate either.

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