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Jon Huntsman to Exit Presidential Race, Endorse Mitt Romney

Jon Huntsman
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Jon Huntsman

The former Utah governor, who finished a disappointing third in New Hampshire, has been trailing badly in the polls.

Jon Huntsman is expected to drop out of presidential race on Monday and throw his support behind Mitt Romney, campaign officials told the Associated Press on Sunday.

Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, struggled to gain any traction in his presidential bid, essentially vying for the same sort of Republican voters who have already committed to Romney.

He fought unsuccessfully to overcome what many conservatives regard as a disability -- serving as President Barack Obama's ambassador to China. New Hampshire, which nowadays falls on the moderate side of the Republican spectrum, was considered his best shot. Despite heavy spending there, he only managed a third-place finish.

Polls have shown that South Carolina, which is deeply conservative and heavily evangelical Christian, was not Huntsman country. In one survey, had him finishing behind comedian Stephen Colbert, who isn't even on the ballot.

Huntsman, a wealthy businessman with a multi-millionaire father, easily could have subsidized his campaign but, according to officials, it was decided within the family that would have been throwing good money after bad.

He will be absent from the stage at Monday night's debate in Myrtle Beach, officials said.