Saturday, July 20, 2024

DeSantis drops out, endorses Trump just before New Hampshire GOP primary

by David Specht

(The Center Square) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Sunday he is dropping out of the Republican presidential primary and endorsing former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis said he could not continue to ask for support when he does not have a “clear path to victory.”

“I’m proud to have delivered on 100% of my promises, and I will not stop now,” he said in an online video. “It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”

The news comes as New Hampshire voters are set to head to the polls Tuesday to choose their favored candidate in the Republican presidential primary race as Trump’s challengers run low on time to gain ground in the race.

Trump holds a sizeable lead in New Hampshire, though not as wide as his margin in Iowa, a state he won handily last Monday with more than 50% support.

DeSantis finished a distant second in Iowa, but he had a grim outlook in New Hampshire and little hope of winning any other early primary state. His campaign canceled some major media interviews this weekend, raising speculation that he could be considering leaving the race.

According to a RealClearPolitics aggregation of polling data, Trump at 50% support leads New Hampshire by 15 points, outpacing former Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is in second with 35% support. DeSantis trails with about 6%.

Haley campaigned in New Hampshire Sunday, which included spending time with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who was considered a possible GOP presidential candidate, something that never materialized. Sununu endorsed Haley.

“We need someone at the top of their game in the Oval Office,” Haley wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sunday, repeating a familiar talking point for her campaign. “America deserves a better choice than two 80-year-old names from the past,” referring to Trump and President Joe Biden, the likely Democratic nominee.

The New Hampshire Union Leader, the largest paper in the state, echoed that sentiment in their endorsement of Haley on Saturday.

“Nikki Haley is an opportunity to vote for a candidate rather than against those two,” the paper said. “A candidate who can run circles around the dinosaurs from the last two administrations, backwards and in heels.”

Nationally, Trump dominates the GOP field as well and even has a lead over Biden.

The Center Square’s Voter’s Voice Poll released this month showed that Trump has more support than all his competitors combined.

The Center Square’s Voters’ Voice poll queried Republican voters, “Which of the following candidates are you most likely to vote for in the 2024 Republican primary?” Of those surveyed, 61% of Republicans chose Trump. In the poll, 13% picked Haley while 12% chose DeSantis.

As The Center Square previously reported, the same poll shows Trump leads Biden by 4 percentage points in a potential general election faceoff. Trump also leads in most key swing states, according to recent surveys.

Trump also secured some major endorsements this month, including from two of his recent opponents. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., as well as businessman Vivek Ramaswamy both endorsed Trump, and now DeSantis has.

Ramaswamy, who had vocally praised Trump even on the campaign trail, dropped out of the primary after securing about 7% of the vote in Iowa last week.

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