WASHINGTON Republican Chris Christie's U.S. presidential campaign looked to be in trouble on Wednesday amid news reports he would drop his White House bid and narrow the field of rivals facing businessman Donald Trump.
A disappointing sixth-place finish in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary raised doubts about the combative New Jersey governor's viability as a candidate for the Nov. 8 election.
A spokeswoman for Christie's campaign said no decision had been made about whether he would stay in the race.
Christie's departure would leave eight Republicans vying to represent the party. Businessman Donald Trump has dominated the Republican race and won the party primary in New Hampshire on a wave of voter anger at traditional U.S. politicians.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a democratic socialist, swept the Democratic contest in the same state.
The results testified to the sizable share of American voters upset at U.S. economic conditions and willing to send a shockwave to Washington.
Christie had poured much of his campaign's resources into New Hampshire and had considered a good showing there critical.
He canceled plans to go to South Carolina, a sign he could drop out soon. The state holds the next Republican primary on Feb. 20.
"No decision has been made," Christie spokeswoman Sam Smith wrote in an email to Reuters.
Citing an unidentified source, Politico said Christie would suspend his campaign on Wednesday. ABC News quoted a source briefed on Christie's plans as saying the governor was expected to formally suspend his presidential campaign as early as Wednesday after huddling with advisers.
Trump's opponents could benefit if Christie pulls out.
Ohio's Republican governor, John Kasich, won second place in New Hampshire, followed by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
On the Democratic side, Sanders courted the African-American vote after thrashing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton met Sanders for breakfast at a restaurant in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.
(Writing by Alistair Bell; Additional reporting by Brendan McDermid, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey and Clarece Polke; Editing by Howard Goller)
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Published Date: Feb 10, 2016 11:46 pm | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2016 11:46 pm