From NBC's Andrea Mitchell
Richardson's own polling showed that they were not going to do well in his next-door state of Nevada, where he had campaigned aggressively. It became important to get out before Nevada and avoid the embarrassment.
Said one adviser, "It wouldnt do us any good to get our a** kicked in Nevada."
At a staff meeting today, people were told that Richardson will not endorse Obama or Clinton -- but release any supporters to whomever they prefer.
In Iowa, Clinton campaign officials were angry at Richardson for what they claimed were backroom deals with Obama on second-round choices in the caucuses.
Richardson holds a press conference today in New Mexico at 3:00 pm ET.