Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who entered the Republican presidential nominating race on such a high, will announce Thursday morning plans to suspend his campaign, two days before the primary in South Carolina, where he’s been polling in the single digits. He’s expected to throw his support to former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Perry previously considered dropping out after earning a disappointing fifth place in Iowa earlier this month. But after some reflection, the Texas lawmaker decided to carry on, skipping the New Hampshire primary to focus instead on South Carolina, where he’d hoped to leverage his Southern roots to regain momentum.
Although his debate performances, which in the past included several gaffes and largely helped to derail his presidential bid, have improved, Perry failed to make much traction with Republican voters. In addition, several GOP pundits have called for him to get out of the race and he’s lost a number of key supporters. His exit could help Gingrich significantly. In recent days the Georgia lawmaker seems to be experiencing a second wind and is closing the gap on frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina.
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