OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The GOP field thinned Wednesday as two candidates dropped out of the presidential primary race following disappointing results in the New Hampshire primary.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided to end his campaign after finishing sixth in New Hampshire.
On his Facebook page, Christie wrote, "While running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed -- that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation."
"That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that's OK," Christie said.
The only female Republican candidate Carly Fiorina also announced she was leaving the race. She posted a statement on her Facebook page saying, "While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them."
The rest of the field marched on into South Carolina.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, fresh off his New Hampshire second place finish, brought his moderate message to a town hall meeting in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
"Some people try to call me a liberal because I think we should opportunity to everyone. And I don't know how the Republican party got so far off kilter," Kasich told the crowd.
Businessman Donald Trump is expected to win in South Carolina where he continues to lead the field with as much as 36% of voters supporting him.
"We're kind of having to throw out a lot of the standard rulebook as to how primaries work," said Sean Gailmard a UC Berkeley political science professor.
Gailmard says what's clear now is that the primary battle will last longer than many people expected.
The GOP still has seven candidates running, but time is running out for the mainstream Republican establishment to rally behind a single candidate.
"The clock's ticking. There becomes a presumption of inevitability for Trump if he keeps this up. His lead in national Republican polls is big," Gailmard said.
As for the Democrats, the question is whether Bernie Sanders can win in states where Hillary Clinton has a strong ground game and a history of support.
"He might be shifting the tone of what they're talking about in the discussions the Democrats are having amongst themselves, but is he actually going to put together a winning bid to be the Democratic nominee for President, it still looks highly unlikely," said Gailmard.
Clinton has nearly twice as much support as Sanders in South Carolina according to several polls.
Clinton and Sanders will debate again on February 11th at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
THE DELEGATE COUNT:
The Democratic nominee will need 2,382 delegates to win the Democratic nomination for president.
Going into South Carolina and Nevada, Clinton has 394 delegates Sanders has 44.
For the Republicans, it will take 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination.
To date, Trump has 17 delegates, Cruz has 11, Rubio has 10, followed by Kasich with 5, Bush with 4 and Ben Carson with 3 delegates.