DemDaily: DeSantis Bows Out Ahead of New Hampshire

January 22, 2024

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign Sunday, ending his 2024 White House bid just two days before the pivotal New Hampshire primary -- and endorsing rival and GOP frontrunner former President Donald Trump.

"We don’t have a clear path to victory...It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance...I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge." - Ron DeSantis

DeSantis, once thought to be the greatest threat to Trump's stranglehold over the Republican Party, was polling within ten points of the presumptive nominee when he entered the race last May. Despite raising over $130 million between his official committee and affiliated super PACS, his campaign was marred by staff infighting, mismanagement, financial struggles and messaging blunders.

He was also the target of relentless attacks from Trump and his affiliated super PAC MAGA Inc, which spent over $10 million vilifying the Florida Governor before he even announced his candidacy.

Of the original 13-person GOP field, DeSantis and former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley emerged as the top contenders for runner up to Trump, who has maintained a two-digit lead since the outset of the race.

Despite a heavy investment in the Iowa caucus -- visiting all 99 counties and spending $35 million -- DeSantis finished a distant second with 21.2% to Trump's dominate 51%, and just two points ahead of Haley's 19.1% third place perfomance.

Subsequent polling showed DeSantis in single digits in both New Hampshire and the next GOP nomination contest February 24 in South Carolina -- Haley's home state.

Tomorrow's New Hampshire primary will determine the fate of Haley's candidacy and presents the last hope to wrestle control of the GOP from Trump's firm grip.

Haley has dedicated considerable time and money in The Granite State, targeting moderate Republicans, independents and undeclared voters -- who make up 39% of the overall electorate and are expected to play an outsized role in deciding the state's GOP nominee.

According to AdImpact, Haley and her allied political action committee have spent over $29 million on advertisements in New Hampshire, while Trump and his allied PAC have invested over $15.3 million on ads in the state.

According to a January 20-21 Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely voters, taken after DeSantis dropped out, Trump was leading Haley 57%-38% in the New Hampshire primary. Among independent/undeclared voters, Haley led Trump 58%-35% (MOE: +/- 4.4%).

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: Trump Dominates First in Nation Caucus 1/16/23
DemDaily: Haley and DeSantis: The Race for Second Place 1/12/23
DemDaily: Christie Concedes Presidential Primary 1/11/23
DemDaily: Tonight's Showdown! The Fifth Republican Debate 1/10/23
DemDaily: The 2024 Presidential Primary Calendar! 1/4/23
DemDaily: The GOP Primary: A Snapshot 12/12/23
DemDaily: Countdown to Iowa. The Fourth Debate 12/8/23
DemDaily: The Dwindling GOP Field 12/5/23
DemDaily: New Hampshire First? 11/17/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Resources: AP, CNN, FiveThirtyEight, The Hill

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