Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his 2024 presidential campaign on Sunday, citing an unclear path to victory and endorsing Donald Trump.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Sunday that he is suspending his 2024 presidential campaign and endorsing Former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis’ decision follows a second place finish in the Iowa caucuses and unfavorable polling for the New Hampshire primary.
“Following our second-place finish in Iowa, we have 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,” said the governor. “Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”
DeSantis’s campaign, which started with high expectations last May, faced challenges in distinguishing itself from Trump’s political agenda and navigating a party still influenced by the former president. Financial issues and strategic missteps also hampered his campaign, leading to his decision to withdraw.
The endorsement comes as a potential surge in voter share for Trump, who is largely expected to pick up DeSantis supporters.
Following DeSantis’ announcement, several key Florida Republican officials, including members of the state’s cabinet like Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, publicly supported Trump.
“Now is time that all republicans unite behind returning Donald Trump to the White House,” Patronis said on X. “This is the most important election of our lifetimes.”
With DeSantis’ exit, the primary race narrows to a contest primarily between Trump and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Haley now represents the primary alternative to the former president.
A GOP primary poll conducted in New Hampshire last week showed that DeSantis held just 4 percent of voter support in the state, indicating a decrease in his popularity among Granite State Republicans, whom he polled at 6 percent with last month. Meanwhile, the survey gave both Haley and Trump 40 percent support each.
The weak polling numbers for DeSantis came just days after Trump dominated the Iowa caucuses, clinching a majority-share victory within a half-hour of the start time and reaffirming his influence over the Republican Party.
DeSantis trailed significantly from the opening bell despite campaigning heavily within Iowa, positioning himself in a distant second place in his first major test of the Republican presidential primary season.
At the time DeSantis clinched second place, he carried 21.3 percent support, with Haley in a close third with 19.1 percent.
DeSantis will now head back to Florida just two weeks after the state’s Legislative Session was commenced.