Citing a senior official in the Kasich campaign, NBC News reported that Kasich would announce his decision Wednesday:
Word of the governor's decision came after he cancelled a planned press conference in Virginia and announced plans to make a statement in Columbus this afternoon — a telltale sign that he was winding down his long-shot campaign.
Since Ted Cruz's withdrawal from the contest following Trump's Indiana primary landslide on Tuesday, Kasich has been running fourth in a two-man race. With only 153 delegates, Kasich lagged well behind Trump's 1,047 and Cruz's 565 — but he also trailed Marco Rubio, who earned 171 delegates before dropping out of the race in March.
During his ill-fated campaign, Kasich won only his home state of Ohio, defeating Trump in the Buckeye State primary on March 15.
Kasich had hoped to hold Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nod and prevail at a contested convention in Cleveland this summer, arguing that he was the sole viable general election candidate the party could field. But Trump's overwhelming victories in key Northeastern contests and in Indiana dealt a devastating blow to forces hoping to thwart the Manhattan real estate mogul.
Kasich had vowed as recently as Wednesday morning to remain in the contest, pitching himself as the party's "only hope" to defeat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The force, it turned out, had other ideas.