Since entering the race, Pataki, who is 70, has remained in the lower tier of the polls.
The moderate Republican was New York governor for three terms after being elected in 1994. Before embarking on his 2016 campaign, there was speculation he would run in previous presidential cycles. His reported decision to drop out comes weeks before Feb. 1's Iowa caucus and Feb. 9's New Hampshire primary. Pataki had missed the filing deadlines in primary states later in the cycle.
Pataki struggled to gain traction in an election season that has favored anti-establishment policies over more seasoned politicians. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) previously dropped out of the race.