Will Fred Thompson stay in the presidential race? (Photo Credit: AP)
(CNN) - After a weak showing in the South Carolina primary, Fred Thompson gave a wistful speech to supporters, telling them "we'll always stand strong together."
Thompson had staked his campaign on a strong finish in the Republican primary here.
While he remains in the race, two sources told CNN that "it was abundantly evident to all of us" that the bar was a win or a very competitive second place in South Carolina to continue to be viable in the GOP presidential race.
Thompson has no public schedule Sunday, and is planning to consult with campaign manager Bill Lacy and other top advisers about the next move.
"We are not blind to the obvious," said one senior campaign adviser.
But, given the muddled course of the Republican race so far, both aides said Thompson and his advisers wanted to watch the results come in tonight before making a final decision.
Related video: Watch Thompson's S.C. concession speech
–CNN's John King, Candy Crowley, and Gloria Borger contributed to this report