With Rick Perry now out of the presidential running race, it now leaves a big question: where will his supporters go?
The candidate's own endorsement is with Newt Gingrich, but that doesn't mean Perry's supporters are swaying that same direction. In fact, some of Perry's most adamant supporters in the Upstate say they say they're not yet ready to support Newt Gingrich.
James Gibney and Allie Jennings were the local chairs for the Rick Perry campaign. Now, they're figuring out where to put their support.
Gibney says, "I think [Thursday's] debate will really determine will Newt Gingrich carry the day in South Carolina, or will Rick Santorum rise to the occasion.
Jennings says she's stuck between Romney and Santorum. "As far as Santorum," says Jennings, "I really want to vote for him, but last time I checked, close to 20 points behind Romney."
It's something many Perry supporters weren't anticipating this close to the primary - and they weren't anticipating Perry's endorsement.
"When we found out this morning that Perry was dropping out and was going to endorse Gingrich, the first reaction from everyone was ... 'really?'," says Furman University Political Science professor Danielle Vinson.
She says today's decision has thrown a wrench into the undecided vote. "I don't think they have an easy choice now," Vinson says of Perry supporters.
Gibney and Jennings say they say their candidate was unique, with his plan for jobs and his stance on social issues. Both say they will vote in Saturday's primary - but for who?
Perry may have endorsed Gingrich, but Perry's supporters aren't entirely sold.
"I think Newt Gingrich has an ability to articulate a message very well, but he has an innate - or inane - ability to shoot himself really well in the foot, too," says Gibney.
Jennings says of Gingrich, "long term, I just don't think he's the best candidate for our party, and I feel like senator Santorum and governor Romney would make fantastic presidents."
Gibney and Jennings also told us tonight that their decision on Saturday will come down to who's electable, and who best fits their politics. Both say Rick Santorum is the next best candidate--but that could change between now and Saturday.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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