1705879341 US presidential election Ron DeSantis withdraws from race for Republican

US presidential election: Ron DeSantis withdraws from race for Republican nomination, announces he will support Donald Trump

Ron DeSanis, during a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa, on Jan. 13. Ron DeSanis, during a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa, on Jan. 13. CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA / AFP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Sunday, Jan. 21, that he is withdrawing from the race for the Republican nomination and will support Donald Trump in the November presidential election. “I am interrupting my election campaign today”he said in a video posted on X. “It’s clear to me that the majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”

In a primary in which the former president is the overwhelming favorite, Ron DeSantis was a contender for second place along with Nikki Hailey, a former elected official from South Carolina. “I would like to say to Ron that he ran a very good campaign”she responded, emphasizing that “Now there are only one man and one woman” left in the race.

Ron DeSantis, who has taken a tough stance on immigration and abortion, came in second place in Monday's Iowa caucuses, well behind Donald Trump, with 21% of the vote versus 51% for the former president. “I can’t ask our volunteers to give of their time and money if we don’t have a clear path to victory,” he reasoned in his video. “I had differences of opinion with Donald Trump, for example because of the coronavirus pandemic,” but “Trump is better than the current incumbent, Joe Biden,” the 45-year-old added. His announcement comes two days before the New Hampshire primary and a few days after black US Senator Tim Scott dropped out of the race, also announcing his support for Donald Trump.

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A dynamic that is gradually being lost

Often described as his party's rising star over the past year, Ron DeSantis has gradually lost the momentum that sustained him. Despite a high-profile start to the campaign and favorable early polls, technical problems and constant upheaval in his team and campaign strategy hampered his bid for the Republican nomination.

He had already canceled all of his television interviews for this weekend, which suggested his decision. The head of the “Sunshine State” has turned Florida into a laboratory for conservative ideas. With his fight against supposedly “right thinking” he made headlines in American newspapers.

He made a name for himself across the country with anti-health comments during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also joined the governors of other Republican states in sending migrants to Democratic cities in the north and east of the country. But the lack of charisma of this man with a compact build and rare smile was also criticized during the election campaign. Now Mr. DeSantis' political future is in doubt after his one-vote retirement, although he remains governor of Florida.

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Le Monde with AP and AFP