Two days before the South Carolina primary, Rick Perry, who was polling in fifth place in the GOP Presidential nomination race in the state with 4% of likely Republican primary voters has dropped out of the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich.
This leaves clear front runner Mitt Romney, and three underdog candidates: Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, still in the running for the GOP nomination in Saturday's first primary test with a conservative Southern group of voters. Romney is the moderate establishment Republican, Ron Paul is a libertarian who appeals as much to non-Republicans as to the libertarian faction in the Republican party, and Santorum and Gingrich are splitting the conservative vote. As I've noted previously at this blog, all have flaws. Some of the recent revelations are that Romney pays only about 15% of his income in federal income taxes and that Gingrich's ex-wife says that he asked her for an "open marriage."
Unless either Santorum or Gingrich drop out of the race in the next forty-eight hours, neither is likely to finish the South Carolina primary in first place.