Cornelia Wallace, short of campaign money and apparently discouraged, dropped out of the race for governor yesterday after a month of rebuffs.

Wallace noted in a prepared statement that it would be futile for her to continue without the "endorsement and active participation of the governor."

Gov. George Wallace, in a Birmingham hospital this week for routine tests, had consented to the listing of his former wife as "Mrs. George Wallace" on the ballot but offered no other aid. They were divorced eight months ago.

"I could draw some crowds because they are curious about me," Wallace said last month when she became a last-minute entry in the field of 13 Democratic candidates. But she got no help from the old Wallace organization. "They have other commitments, and I understood that," she said.

Wallace is the niece of former governor James (Big Jim) Folsom who, though legally blind and nearly deaf at 69, is also in the race. He "called me and said I ought to get into politics. I hadn't made up my mind, so he got in," she explained.

But her uncle insisted that he didn't remember it that way.

She "has been running ever since she married George," he said. He added that Cornelia was a Wallace now and he wasn't pleased about running against another Wallace again.

Even permission to use the governor's name on the ballot came too late this week to help.The Sept. 5 primary is so near that most of the ballot printing is underway.

Though never rated a serious threat by the frontrunners, Wallace was an attractive campaigner. But her late start lacked organized support.

"I am running my campaign at my own personal expense, and to continue without the help of friends who have not fulfilled their promises of financial contributions has placed a hardship on me," she said.

She has lived in a rented house in Montgomery since she moved out of the governor's mansion last year.