Richardson to drop out, AP says

The Associated Press reported late Wednesday that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is ending his pursuit for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Citing sources inside the campaign, the AP says Richardson would make a formal announcement Thursday.

Richardson failed to siphon votes away from Democratic frontrunners Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.), and he also did not catch up to former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who is solidly in third place.

He lagged far behind the trio in fundraising and in national polls and could only muster two fourth place finishes in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

As a governor, a former diplomat and former Energy Secretary, Richardson sought to portray himself as an experienced hand in the race with a broad portfolio. In addition, the governor hoped that he, as a Hispanic, would be able to attract that increasing voter bloc.