Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean announced he is effectively ending his presidential campaign, a day after placing a distant third in Wisconsin's presidential primary and having failed to win a single state contest so far. The one-time Democratic party front-runner is not endorsing any of the other Democratic candidates.

Howard Dean built his campaign on strong opposition to the Iraq war. He broke fund-raising records and rose to the top in public opinion polls last year with the help of the Internet and a corps of thousands of committed young supporters.

He had called Wisconsin a must win and after failing to achieve that Tuesday, he decided to accept the advice of advisors who were telling him now is the time to get out of the race.

"I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency," he said. "We will however, continue to build a new organization using our enormous grassroots network to continue the effort to transform the Democratic party and to change our country."

He stopped short of endorsing another candidate but called on supporters to continue working to defeat George Bush in November.

"We are leaving one track but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again," said Howard Dean.

His decision means the Democratic race is now essentially a contest between Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and North Carolina Senator John Edwards.