January 21, 2024

Ron DeSantis, once considered the strongest contender among Republicans to move beyond Donald Trump, announced his withdrawal from the primary race on Sunday, marking an early departure that highlights the firm grasp the former president still maintains over the party. In a video shared on the X social media site, the 45-year-old DeSantis officially endorsed Trump.

While DeSantis had initially been seen as a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination and a potential successor to Trump, his support has dwindled over the past few months. Factors such as a flawed campaign strategy, apparent difficulties connecting with voters on the campaign trail, and Trump’s enduring influence on a significant portion of the party’s base contributed to this decline.

With DeSantis exiting the race, Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., emerges as the last Republican standing with a slim chance of challenging Trump for the nomination. The ultimate victor in the Republican nominating contest will face President Joe Biden, the expected Democratic nominee, in the November general election.