Florida Primary field dwindles: Rick Perry drops out

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Multiple news agencies are reporting that Rick Perry is dropping out of the GOP race for president, and will make it official at 11 a.m. eastern time.

He is expected to endorse Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina Primary, which takes place on Saturday.

Perry is the second Republican candidate for president to drop out of the race in four days - on Monday, Jon Huntsman called it quits.

The only surprise about Perry's announcement is that it's coming 48 hours before South Carolina voters go to the polls, not afterwards. But Perry was going nowhere in the Palmetto state (one poll had him at 4 percent).

Earlier this week, Gingrich called on Perry and Rick Santorum to drop out of the race, saying that conservatives should rally around his candidacy, which he says is the only viable one to challenge front-runner Mitt Romney. Although Santorum called such a demand outrageous, Perry obviously has taken it to heart, and his candidacy is now history.

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