(UnitedVoice.com) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) was hoping to be the Republican candidate for president. He finished second in the Iowa caucus. Afterward, he headed to South Carolina, seemingly skipping the New Hampshire primary. Speculation soon arose that he was going to drop out of the presidential race. Days later, on January 21, he did just that.
Suspension and Endorsement
DeSantis announced the suspension of his campaign the Sunday after the Iowa caucus. In a video released online, the governor stated that he was ending his campaign and endorsing Trump. The Republican said the former president is “superior to the current incumbent, [President] Joe Biden.”
DeSantis stated that he signed a pledge to support the GOP nominee, and he intends to honor that pledge. He also said Trump has his support because the party can’t go back to the old Republican guard.
The endorsement may have surprised some, but it was always an eventuality. The former president clearly has the support of the Republican base. Also, DeSantis did, in fact, promise the Republican National Committee in August 2023 that he would support whoever the party chose at the end of the primary season.
The former president addressed DeSantis’ departure later that day at a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire. Trump congratulated his rival on “doing a very good job,” called him “gracious” and told the crowd that he “look[s] forward to working with” the Florida governor.
There are a lot of post-mortem op-eds about the demise of DeSantis’ campaign. The truth is, there is no clear answer about what happened. There were some signs, however, that it was doomed from the onset.
DeSantis was leading former President Donald Trump in straw polls in December 2022. People speculated that he could take the reins of the GOP’s elephant from the 45th POTUS — and then nothing. He visited some foreign countries and pushed through the most conservative agenda in Florida’s history. While he did that, the former president campaigned.
The governor didn’t declare his candidacy when he was leading Trump in the polls. He waited until May 2023, after the former president had been campaigning for months before he announced he was running for the Republican nomination.
According to The Tampa Bay Times, there were many problems with the campaign, from DeSantis’ attempt to run to the right of Trump to his campaign strategy to spend most of his resources in Iowa, his hesitancy to criticize the former president and a lack of a clear campaign message.
Ultimately, none of the governor’s efforts moved the needle. By the time he decided to withdraw from the primary, he was just as far behind the former POTUS as he had ever been. Now, he has three years left in his second term as governor.
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