COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 17 (UPI) — Despite dismal polling numbers, Dr. Ben Carson grabbed his first congressional endorsement from Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, a physician.

Harris joined Carson on the campaign trail in Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday for a town hall on veterans issues. The two, both physicians, have been friends for more than 30 years. Harris told reporters Wednesday that he is supporting Carson because he “understands the historic constitutional background” of the United States.

“He will restore America to greatness — not as a punch line in a campaign, but as a belief in returning America to its Constitutional roots,” he said. “What we saw in the debate last Saturday reminds us just how much we need someone thoughtful like Dr. Carson in the White House.”

The latest Quinnipiac poll,, released Wednesday morning showed Carson tied for last place nationally with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, each with 4 percent.

Despite those numbers, Carson vowed to stay in the race for the long haul. “I’m not getting out. I’m going on to Nevada,” he said. “There’s no question about that.”

South Carolina holds its Republican primary this Saturday, and Nevada holds its Republican caucus on Tuesday.

Carson finished fourth in Iowa with 9 percent, ahead of most of the other candidates in the field, but far below the level of support he had in polls in November and December, where was was briefly leading. In the New Hampshire primary he did worse, coming in eighth with just 2 percent of the vote.

In South Carolina, the most recent polls show Carson coming in last with 7 percent support among likely voters.

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