COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — As the ‘First-in-the-South’ GOP Presidential Primary approaches, one Palmetto State native is dropping out of the race.

Sunday night, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott announced he was suspending his presidential campaign. Scott was polling in single digits in some national polls and the latest Winthrop Poll had Scott in a virtual tie with businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

Political science experts in South Carolina weighed in on this announcement Monday.

Dr. Gibbs Knotts with the College of Charleston said as we get closer to contests in the early voting states, the remaining candidates may try to position themselves as the main alternative to presumed frontrunner former President Donald Trump.

“If a lot of people stay in, it’s going to just become an inevitability that Trump becomes the nominee,” Dr. Knotts said.

With Scott’s exit, Dr. Knotts said there is a chance former Governor Nikki Haley could absorb some of his support in the Palmetto State. “I don’t know that those votes are going to go to Donald Trump because I feel like they would already be with Donald Trump if that was the case. I think probably Nikki Haley’s the biggest winner with Tim Scott suspending his campaign,” he said.

The South Carolina Republican primary operates on a winner-takes-all basis, with 50 delegates at stake. The contest is scheduled to be held on February 24th, 2024.