Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has withdrawn from the 2024 presidential race, abandoning his bid for the Republican nomination and throwing his support behind former President Donald Trump. DeSantis exited the race just ahead of the crucial Republican primary in New Hampshire, where his polling numbers were in the single digits.
Once considered a formidable contender for the Republican nomination, DeSantis admitted on Sunday that he lacked a “clear path to victory.” His decision leaves Nikki Haley as the last remaining challenger to Trump, with Haley emphasising her ability to defeat President Joe Biden.
In a nearly five-minute video posted on X (formerly Twitter), DeSantis expressed gratitude for his supporters and noted that his campaign had given its all. He endorsed Donald Trump, recognising the clear preference of a majority of Republican voters to “give Donald Trump another chance.”
While acknowledging past disagreements with Trump, DeSantis emphasised Trump’s superiority over Biden, stating that he signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, a commitment he intends to honor.
Donald Trump, who emerged victorious in the first contest in Iowa with 51% of the vote, is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. DeSantis’s withdrawal prompted cheers from Trump supporters in New Hampshire, with Trump describing DeSantis as a “really terrific person” and acknowledging the challenges of running a good campaign.
DeSantis had positioned himself as a candidate capable of championing Trump’s populist agenda without the associated drama. However, some referred to him as “diet Trump,” and Trump supporters felt that the timing might not be right for DeSantis.
Lynne Mason, expressing disappointment in DeSantis’s campaign, believed Trump was the only person capable of saving the country at this time. BethAnne Tatro echoed this sentiment, emphasising Trump’s proven ability to lead and get things back on track. With DeSantis stepping aside, the focus now shifts to the showdown between Trump and Haley in the upcoming New Hampshire primary.