WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his Republican presidential campaign Sunday on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, ending a White House bid that failed to meet expectations that he would emerge as a serious challenger to former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis announced his decision in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” he said. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is Tuesday.
DeSantis derided former U.N. Ambassador Nikki 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.”
The ambitious big-state governor entered the 2024 presidential contest with major advantages in his quest to take on Trump, and early primary polls suggested DeSantis was in a strong position to do just that. He and his allies amassed a political fortune well in excess of $100 million, and he boasted a significant legislative record on issues important to many conservatives, like abortion and the teaching of race and gender issues in schools.
Such advantages did not survive the reality of presidential politics in 2024. From a high-profile announcement that was plagued by technical glitches to constant upheavals to 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.
And now, DeSantis’ political future is in question after suspending his presidential bid after just one voting contest. The 45-year-old is term limited as Florida governor.