Rick Perry to Drop Out and Back Newt Gingrich

Reports are coming out that Rick Perry will announce today that he will drop out of the race and back Newt Gingrich.

Unclear is if all his supporters are willing to move to the Gingrich camp.

Reuters reports:

Perry scheduled a news conference in North Charleston, South Carolina, for 11 a.m. EST (1400 GMT). Perry drops out just two days before Saturday’s pivotal Republican presidential primary in the conservative Southern state where he had hoped to revive his campaign.

Perry entered the race in August and briefly was at the front of the pack of Republican candidates, but a series of gaffes, lackluster debate performances and controversial statements during the campaign undermined his standing in polls.

Perry’s poll numbers remained low in South Carolina, with little prospect for improving before the primary or in the contests ahead.

Perry had contemplated getting out of the race after a distant fifth place showing in the January 3 Iowa caucuses – the first contest in the state-by-state battle for the Republican nomination – but quickly decided to stay in the race. His campaign, however, never got any more traction.

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