Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ended his Republican United States presidential campaign just before the New Hampshire primary and endorsed Donald Trump after failing to emerge as a serious challenger for the White House against the 77-year-old former president.
DeSantis’s decision comes less than two days before the New Hampshire primary, in which polls showed him far behind frontrunner Trump and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
DeSantis went on to attack Haley, long his closest rival for second place in the primary race, saying Republicans “can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”.
At a Sunday evening rally in Rochester, New Hampshire, Trump set aside months of criticism and mockery of DeSantis to praise the governor, saying he was looking forward to working together to defeat President Joe Biden, the probable Democratic nominee. Trump accused Haley of forming an “unholy alliance” with liberals, never-Trumpers, and so-called RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, to try and win the New Hampshire primary.
When DeSantis entered the 2024 presidential contest, early primary polls suggested he was in a strong position to beat Trump, who faces multiple court cases, including interference in the 2020 presidential election.
The Florida governor built a campaign war chest of well over $100 million, supported by a significant legislative record on issues important to many conservatives, such as abortion and the teaching of race and gender issues in schools.
From a high-profile announcement on X that was plagued by technical glitches to constant upheavals in his staff and campaign strategy, DeSantis struggled to find his footing in the primary. He lost the Iowa caucuses, which he had vowed to win- by 30 percentage points to Trump, just ahead of Haley.
DeSantis and Haley frequently attacked each other in debates and advertising, often more directly than they did Trump. Trump holds a double-digit lead over Haley in New Hampshire, according to polls, and his campaign team hopes a second consecutive win will make his eventual nomination all but inevitable.
The former president urged Republicans to rally behind him, dismissing Haley as “the candidate of the globalists and Democrats.”
Trump also has a commanding lead in South Carolina, which votes on February 24. A Haley loss in her home state – where she was governor from 2011 to 2017, would probably mean the end of her campaign.
DeSantis’s withdrawal from the race for the presidential nomination also leaves his political future in question. The 45-year-old can only serve two terms as Florida’s governor. His latest term ends in January 2027.

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