South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on Monday suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Monday is the deadline for presidential candidates to remove their names from the South Carolina primary ballot.

“I was hoping not to have to make this call, but I think the time has come for me to suspend my campaign” Graham is quoted as saying by Politico during a conference call with supporters.

By leaving the race, Graham, who has been polling in the single digits, avoids a potentially poor performance in his home state.

“We've come to a point now where I just don't see how we grow the campaign without getting on the main stage,” he said. “This second-tier debate process has been difficult for us. I think we've done well in the debates, it's just hard to break through because the buzz doesn't last very long.”

Unlike some of his GOP rivals such as Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson who have pledged as president to undermine the Supreme Court's June ruling striking down state laws and constitutional amendments that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying, Graham said that while he remains opposed to such unions he accepts the decision.

Thirteen Republican candidates remain. Appearing on CNN, Graham declined to make an endorsement.