Rick Perry is expected to announce he will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and endorse Newt Gingrich on Thursday, according to CNN.

The announcement is expected Thursday at 11 a.m. EST ahead of tonight's debate in South Carolina, which will hold its primary on Saturday. A live stream of the announcement will be available here.

The Texas Governor has had a difficult time breaking into the lead throughout the race, with disappointing showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Polls show Perry tracking in the single digits and dead last behind Mitt Romney, Gingrich, and Rep. Ron Paul with 7 percent, according to Gallup.

If Perry drops out, it would narrow the field of candidates vying for the GOP's conservative base. Perry had ignored the New Hampshire primary entirely and banked on South Carolina to recharge a flagging candidacy.

South Carolinians are looking for a conservative candidate that will get this country back working again and I am it, Perry said on CNN last week.