Ron DeSantis drops out of 2024 presidential race, endorses Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign event at the Chrome Horse Saloon on January 14, 2024 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the 2024 presidential race and endorsed front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday, two days before the New Hampshire primary.

“If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews — I would do it, 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,” DeSantis said in a Sunday social media post. “Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

“Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden. That is clear,” DeSantis said. “I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican Guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”

Minutes after he announced his exit from the 2024 race, DeSantis cancelled a campaign event he had scheduled in New Hampshire. The campaign said that he would instead remain in Tallahassee, Florida.

Despite claiming a victory at the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15 where he edged out former Haley for second place, DeSantis has severely lagged his opponents in New Hampshire.

DeSantis was polling at 6% in the Granite State, compared to Trump’s 50% and Haley’s 39%, according to a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll conducted between Jan. 16 and 19.

In response to DeSantis’ announcement, Haley said the GOP primary contest is now a “two person race.”

Since Iowa, the DeSantis campaign has appeared to be winding down. The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, laid off staff earlier this week and DeSantis canceled several media appearances he had scheduled Sunday.

It marks the end of a campaign that initially showed promise but has been rife with internal drama and strategic blunders. Reports of infighting seasoned nearly the entire timeline of the DeSantis campaign and staff were often quoted as having lost faith in the campaign well before it ended.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

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