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Ron DeSantis withdraws from GOP primary, endorses Donald Trump for 2024

A stunning collapse occurred for a candidate who was previously thought to have the strongest chance of unseating Mr. Trump as the Republican Party’s nominee in 2024 when Florida governor Ron DeSantis abandoned his presidential campaign on Sunday and supported former president Donald J. Trump. Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, is Mr. Trump’s final opponent after he withdrew from the race only two days before the New Hampshire primary.

Following his humiliating 30-percentage-point loss to Mr. Trump in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, Mr. DeSantis was faced with the difficult decision of whether to continue. He gave his response on Sunday, admitting that continuing without a “clear route to success” was futile. After The New York Times reported that Mr. DeSantis was anticipated to withdraw from the race, Mr. DeSantis declared in a video that he was “suspending my campaign now.” He went on to say that “Trump is superior to the present incumbent, Joe Biden.” That is evident. I will stick to my promise to support the Republican nominee, which I signed. Because we can’t revert to the previous Republican guard, he has my support.

After spending his Saturday night campaigning in South Carolina, Mr. DeSantis returned home by plane to Tallahassee. He was supposed to show up on Sunday afternoon for a campaign rally in New Hampshire, but it was postponed. Mr. Trump had started using the past tense when discussing his campaign even before Mr. DeSantis made his declaration. At a rally on Saturday night in Manchester, Mr. Trump wished Mr. DeSantis “may he rest in peace. Last week, Mr. DeSantis began to provide indications that he could consider withdrawing from the campaign, pointing to the 2028 election as his likely outcome and acknowledging Mr. Trump’s resounding win in Iowa.

Just as it had during his initial campaign launch, which included a widely panned and technically flawed livestream event on Twitter, chaos characterised his final days in office. Over the course of the weekend, Mr. DeSantis’s itinerary was constantly in flux as he abruptly cancelled his appearances on the Sunday morning political shows and alternated between New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Mr. DeSantis gave Mr. Trump his blessing and hurriedly endorsed him. The governor of Florida provided no justification for backing Mr. Trump outside of the fact that the previous president was not Ms. Haley and that he was supported by the majority of Republicans in the polls. Additionally, Mr. DeSantis was compelled to take a final swipe at the front-runner of his party, repeating complaints about how Mr. Trump handled the outbreak.

By endorsing Mr. Trump, Mr. DeSantis appeared to be attempting to rally the conservative wing of the party around the former president, oblivious to the reality that he was bowing down to a guy who had mocked him as though it were a violent game. With high hopes after declaring his candidacy for president in May, Mr. DeSantis and his campaign turned out to be an expensive failure, squandering tens of millions of dollars working with well-funded outside organisations for seemingly little result.

Mr. Trump severely damaged Mr. DeSantis’s reputation as a self-assured conservative fighter by continuously making fun of everything from his outfit choices to his facial expressions. Mr. DeSantis’s national polling ratings nearly halved throughout his campaign, which seemed to be a criticism of both his ability as a candidate and his attempt to run to Mr. Trump’s right. Not even a lauded turnout and canvassing machine, sponsored by his super PAC, Never Back Down, appeared to have any effect on the outcome of the contest.

As Mr. DeSantis’ campaign faced with setbacks like mass layoffs and the aftermath from releasing a social media video that incorporated a Nazi emblem, at times it seemed like he was careening from one embarrassing situation to the next. His bold pledge to win in Iowa turned out to be a lie. Rather, he was narrowly defeated by Ms. Haley, whose more centrist persona didn’t appear to mesh well with the state’s socially conservative Republican base. Mr. DeSantis’s attempts in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early nominating states, were severely impeded by his focus on Iowa, as his poll ratings declined in those states. It was pointless to press on with more inescapable losses given his lack of support from funders and voters.

The scheme

Mr. DeSantis prevented himself from suffering a disastrous loss on Tuesday by withdrawing before New Hampshire, halting a protracted and gradual political bleeding. The severity of the situation could not be avoided. After his brief campaigning in Iowa, Mr. DeSantis said that he would shift his attention to South Carolina, whose primary wasn’t until a month later. Never Back Down began letting go of employees.

But the whole campaign of Mr. DeSantis had been bet on Iowa, and that was where it had all gone wrong. Mr. DeSantis ran there with the same strategy that Republican candidates used to win the past three contentious caucuses, even though the results did not reflect it.

In addition to answering many inquiries from people, Mr. DeSantis toured all 99 counties in Iowa and secured the support of two influential individuals: Governor Kim Reynolds and the ecclesiastical figure Bob Vander Plaats. In his dropout video from Sunday, Mr. DeSantis stated, “Nobody worked more, and we left it everything out on the field.

His plan was predicated on the idea that Republican supporters could be divided into three groups according to how they felt about the outgoing president: those who would always support Mr. Trump, those who would never support Mr. Trump, and those who liked Mr. Trump and his policies but were prepared for a new party standard-bearer, maybe someone younger and less experienced. Mr. DeSantis aimed to win over the third set of voters. The notion was that the never-Trumpers would follow once he accomplished it.

However, Mr. DeSantis found it difficult to justify his selection over Mr. Trump by those soft Trump supporters. He mostly concentrated on his performance in Florida during the campaign, seldom making an effort to make a comparison. Even in the last days of the campaign, voters continued to query him about when he would take the lead and seriously challenge the front-runner.


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