In a significant turn of events in the Republican presidential race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his withdrawal from the contest, throwing his support behind 45th President Donald Trump. This decision, made public in a video statement on Sunday, came just before the New Hampshire primary.
Governor DeSantis, acknowledging his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, where he led former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley but trailed significantly behind Trump, expressed in the video that continued campaigning seemed futile without a clear route to victory. “If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews — I would do it,” DeSantis stated. “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.”
Following this announcement, DeSantis formally endorsed Donald Trump. He cited a belief that many Republican voters are inclined to give Trump another term, despite their differences, particularly regarding the coronavirus pandemic and Dr. Anthony Fauci. DeSantis emphasized, “Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear.” He also criticized Nikki Haley, suggesting she represents an outdated version of the Republican Party that he contends places American interests last.
This move by DeSantis has been met with approval from prominent Republicans, including Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who had previously urged both DeSantis and Haley to concede, allowing the party to unite behind Trump. Blackburn, speaking on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, praised DeSantis’s decision as a step towards party unity.
With DeSantis exiting the race, Nikki Haley remains the only serious contender against Trump. The upcoming New Hampshire GOP primary is seen as critical for Haley, who must secure a win to sustain her campaign. Her decision to skip the Nevada caucuses only adds to the significance of the New Hampshire results. Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a key supporter of Haley, has been managing expectations by suggesting that even a second-place finish in the state would be a positive outcome for her. However, with DeSantis’s departure and Trump’s expected strong showing, Haley’s chances of halting Trump’s momentum appear increasingly slim.