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Ron DeSantis drops out of 2024 GOP presidential race days before New Hampshire primary By Naomi Lim

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has suspended his 2024 Republican presidential campaign, announcing his decision two days before the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire.

DeSantis, 45, announced his plans to drop out of the Republican primary race on Sunday in a video posted on X. In the recording, DeSantis also endorsed former President Donald Trump to become his party’s nominee.

“Over the past many months, Casey and I have traveled across the country to deliver a message of hope that decline is a choice and that we can, in fact, succeed again as a nation,” DeSantis said from Florida. “Nobody worked harder and we left it all out on the field. Now following our second place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it. But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources, if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

“Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden,” DeSantis added. “That is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”
DeSantis’s campaign comes to an end six days after he came in second in the Iowa caucuses behind Trump but only slightly ahead of former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.

DeSantis launched his campaign for the Republican nomination last May with a glitchy online event on what was then known as Twitter amid high expectations. But like his launch event, his campaign encountered internal and external challenges, including within Never Back Down, the super PAC backing his campaign.

Embarking on his campaign with the most popular non-Trump candidate status, a seemingly over-confident and at-times aggressive DeSantis started his first early-state tour with larger, more staged events, which did not provide opportunities for voter engagement, as he underscored his record as governor of Florida on the pandemic to social issues.

But as he struggled to gain traction in the polls, DeSantis was criticized for not being more personable on the campaign trail and for not scrutinizing Trump more directly, particularly after Trump’s own polling surged after his first indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in March and as the former president and his supporters escalated their attacks against him. DeSantis was prevented from responding more forcefully, in part, because of the overlap between his and Trump’s respective bases.

Backed by his own deep-pocketed super PAC, the separate, outside organization was poised to help DeSantis transform modern campaigning by spearheading the governor’s grassroots priorities with paid staff, while the campaign could make ad buys at cheaper rates.

But Never Back Down more frequently undermined DeSantis’s campaign, most notably when it published a preparation memo before the first debate last August and then with high-profile departures and allegations of illegal coordination. The campaign also mismanaged its resets, spun as “reloads,” by introducing changes in stages. He faced criticism of the management of his campaign finances as well, spending prodigiously on expenses, such as private planes.

Despite the drama, DeSantis did experience some wins, including earning Gov. Kim Reynolds’s (R-IA) endorsement. His wife, Florida first lady Casey DeSantis, was also considered a political asset, aside from when she encouraged people from other states to come to Iowa for the Jan. 15 caucuses. Still, DeSantis netted 21% of the vote in Iowa, with Trump taking first place with 51% of the vote, and Haley coming in third with 19%.

DeSantis is term-limited as governor, with suggestions he may run again in 2028.

-Washington Examiner

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