Former Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd will endorse Barack Obama in his bid for the White House on Tuesday, a source close to the Obama campaign said.

Dodd, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in early January after placing sixth in the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest in the nation.

Obama, a senator from Illinois, and rival Hillary Clinton, a senator from New York and former first lady, are now battling for the nomination.

They face off in a crucial televised debate later on Tuesday ahead of contests in Texas and Ohio next week.

Dodd was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 1974.