Ron Desantis Drops Out of Presidential Race, Endorses Trump Instead

By: Georgia | Published: Jan 27, 2024

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended his campaign for the presidency, endorsing former President Donald Trump. This move came just two days before the New Hampshire primary, leaving Nikki Haley as the sole remaining rival to Trump.

DeSantis’ campaign faced numerous challenges and failed to gain traction among Republican voters. He acknowledged the lack of a viable path to victory, stating, “I am today suspending my campaign,” after a report by The New York Times indicated his impending exit from the race.

DeSantis’ Decision Following Iowa Caucuses

The New York Times reports that the Iowa caucuses were a pivotal moment for DeSantis’ campaign, resulting in a 30-percentage-point loss to Trump.

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Governor Ron DeSantis stands in front of a wall with campaign posters, featuring slogans such as 'RD24' and 'Iowa for DeSantis.' He is wearing a navy blue jacket with 'DeSantis for President' embroidered on it

Source: Ron DeSantis/X

DeSantis reflected on this, concluding that there was no feasible path forward in a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

Strategic Endorsement of Trump by DeSantis

Following his campaign suspension, DeSantis endorsed Donald Trump, BBC News reveals.

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Donald Trump, in a dark suit and red tie, speaking into a microphone at a rally. Behind him are the American flag and the New Hampshire state flag. In the foreground, there is a podium with signage that reads 'TEXT NH TO 88022 TRUMP'."

Source: Getty Images

His endorsement came with a recognition of Trump’s standing among the party base. “Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honor that pledge. It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear,” DeSantis stated in a video posted to X.

Trump Commends DeSantis Post Withdrawal

BBC News reports that in New Hampshire, amidst a crowd of supporters, Trump responded to DeSantis’ withdrawal and endorsement with his first public comments.

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Trump is captured mid-speech, gesturing with his hands, against a dark background. He is wearing a dark suit with a red tie, and is positioned to the left of a microphone stand, speaking into a microphone

Source: Getty Images

He praised his former opponent, calling him a “really terrific person” and acknowledging the difficulty of campaigning. “He ran a really good campaign, it’s not easy,” Trump admitted.

Campaign Challenges and Unpredictable Schedule

The New York Times notes that DeSantis’ campaign was marked by logistical challenges, evident in his erratic scheduling and last-minute cancellations.

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DeSantis stands solemnly at a podium with a microphone, flanked by the United States flag on his left and a flag with an eagle emblem on his right. The podium features the text 'DESANTIS' with a red and blue patriotic design

Source: Ron DeSantis/X

The campaign’s disorganization became apparent as DeSantis shuttled between New Hampshire and South Carolina, altering plans and canceling appearances.

Impact of Trump's Criticism on DeSantis' Campaign

Trump’s constant criticism seemed to impact DeSantis’ public image and campaign, as per information from The New York Times.

Former President Donald Trump, in a dark suit and red tie, points into the audience while speaking at a microphone. In the background, campaign signs read 'TRUMP' and 'STAND WITH TRUMP.'

Source: Getty Images

Trump’s remarks ranged from mocking DeSantis’ facial expressions to his choice of footwear, contributing to a decline in DeSantis’ poll numbers and weakening his standing as a confident conservative figure.

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DeSantis’ Campaign Strategy and its Shortcomings

The strategy employed by DeSantis’ campaign faced numerous challenges.

Governor Ron DeSantis is shown mid-speech, holding a microphone in his right hand and gesturing with his left. He wears a blue suit jacket over a white shirt. A blurred American flag is partially visible in the background

Source: Getty Images

Despite targeting specific voter segments, BBC News explains that DeSantis struggled to differentiate himself from Trump and to connect with key voter groups. This difficulty in carving out a distinct political identity within the Republican party was evident throughout his campaign.

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Financial Strain and Limited Success of DeSantis' Campaign

DeSantis’ presidential campaign involved significant financial investments but yielded limited success.

Governor Ron DeSantis stands at a podium with a smile, wearing a dark suit and red tie. Next to him, his wife smiles broadly, dressed in an elegant yellow dress. Behind them is a large American flag, and the podium features the slogan 'FREEDOM LIVES HERE' with an outline of the state of Florida

Source: Ron DeSantis/X

The New York Times notes that despite the involvement of well-funded groups and considerable spending, the campaign did not achieve its desired impact, particularly in early nominating states. This lack of return on investment highlighted the challenges faced by the campaign in gaining traction.

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DeSantis Withdraws Before New Hampshire Primary

Choosing to withdraw before the New Hampshire primary, DeSantis averted a likely defeat that could have further damaged his political standing.

Inside a school gymnasium with 'MOHAWK PRIDE' banners, people are voting at tables marked with alphabetical order signs. A large illustrated cutout of a Mohawk warrior is displayed. Voters interact with election workers behind privacy booths draped with American flag patterns

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This decision was part of a broader strategy to prevent further losses and came after his campaign began to experience financial and organizational setbacks, including staff layoffs, according to The New York Times.

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Missteps and Challenges of DeSantis' Campaign

NBC News explains that DeSantis’ campaign was characterized by several strategic and tactical errors. From a delayed start to problematic campaign events, these missteps contributed to a perception of weakness and indecision.

Governor Ron DeSantis is speaking into a microphone, wearing a dark suit and a maroon tie. To his left, an American flag is prominently displayed. He appears to be mid-sentence

Source: Getty Images

The campaign’s challenges were compounded by DeSantis’ initial reluctance to directly confront Trump and his failure to effectively communicate his political vision to potential supporters.

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DeSantis’ Future After the Campaign

With his presidential bid over, DeSantis returns to his role as Florida’s governor, as reported by Politico.

Governor Ron DeSantis is speaking at a lectern with his name and 'FOR PRESIDENT' visible in front of a large American flag. The audience, some wearing hats and many holding up phones and cameras to record the event, watches attentively

Source: Getty Images

The New York Times notes that despite the setback in the presidential race, he maintains high favorability among Republicans and has nearly three years left in his governorship. DeSantis’ future, particularly in the context of the 2028 presidential race, remains a topic of interest within the political landscape.

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DeSantis Rejects Funding Trump's Legal Defense

The Guardian reports that a day after his White House campaign suspension and endorsement of Trump, DeSantis opposed using state funds for Trump’s legal expenses.

Former President Donald Trump, dressed in a blue suit and bright red tie, stands speaking to media outside a courtroom. He is surrounded by various different people

Source: Getty Images

He vowed to veto a bill proposing up to $5 million from Florida’s budget for Trump’s legal defense as Trump faces 91 criminal charges and various lawsuits.

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