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DeSantis Ends Campaign

DeSantis+Ends+Campaign
Brian Luppy

On Jan. 21, 2024, Florida governor Ron DeSantis terminated his Republican presidential campaign, pulling out of the race and eliminating his chances to ultimately win the presidency this upcoming November, AP News reported.

This decision was made between the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary election. According to the New York Times, the Iowa caucus (the first primary contest to occur in presidential election cycles since the 1970s) resulted in a landslide win for Donald Trump, who garnered 51% votes, as opposed to DeSantis’s 21.2% and Nikki Haley’s 19.1%. The almost 30% gap between Iowan support for Trump and DeSantis demonstrates the secure lead the former has in the Republican race, potentially explaining DeSantis’s decision to suspend his campaign. 

Because of DeSantis’s withdrawal, the New Hampshire primary, which took place on Jan. 23, only seriously considered two frontrunners: Trump and Haley.

DeSantis made the announcement in a video posted to X (Twitter). He mentioned his regret for the decision but also the necessity of it.

“If there was anything I could do to produce a more favorable outcome– more campaign stops, more interviews– I would do it,” he said. “But I can’t ask our volunteers to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory.” 

Also in the announcement, DeSantis affirmed his support for the current Republican frontrunner, Trump. 

“While I’ve had disagreements with Donald Trump, such as on the coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear,” he said. “I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge.”

Both Trump and Haley responded to the announcement, praising DeSantis for his character and his accomplishments.

In a rally in Rochester, New Hampshire, Trump referred to the governor as a “really terrific” and “very capable person,” despite months of vehement back and forth between the two. Trump accepted DeSantis’s endorsement, saying that he “[looks] forward to working with Ron,” in terms of striving to secure a Republican presidency. 

“He ran a great race, he’s been a good governor, and we wish him well,” Haley said when addressing DeSantis’s decision to supporters and journalists. “It’s now one fella and one lady left.”

With DeSantis’s campaign suspended, Trump and Haley will continue to vie for a spot on the ballot for November’s general presidential election. Though one less competitor may benefit both remaining candidates, the subtraction of Trump’s most statistically close contender only widens the gap between him and Haley, thus further stabilizing his lead in the Republican race.

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