By Bernd Debusmann Jr, Kayla Epstein & Madeline Halpert, BBC News
Ron DeSantis, a former Republican presidential candidate, has announced his withdrawal from the White House race after seven months. The BBC News reported on the campaign’s launch, where DeSantis promised supporters “the Great American Comeback.” However, he later admitted that there is no clear path to victory against Trump, who has been their political identity for over a decade.
Candidate, Campaign, and Trump’s Shadow
DeSantis faced challenges in the campaign, including a perceived lack of charisma and awkwardness with voters, as well as issues within his campaign strategy. The election cycle was nearly impossible for a newcomer like DeSantis, with a decline in poll numbers from 35% to around 20% by May. DeSantis’ decision to delay the official launch was deemed a critical misstep, allowing Trump to rebuild his outsider image amidst legal issues.
DeSantis chose to run to Trump’s right, focusing on culture wars over economic issues, leaving the moderate lane to another contender, Nikki Haley. His limitations as a candidate became evident as he entered the national spotlight. In Iowa and New Hampshire, DeSantis’ robotic personality and awkwardness became significant obstacles, and his second-place finish seemed to be a temporary respite.
By suspending his campaign and endorsing Trump before the primaries in key states like New Hampshire, DeSantis avoided potential damage to his standing with Trump’s followers. At 45 years old, he acknowledges this is not the end of his political journey, and supporters like Jack Figge look forward to 2028, expressing continued faith in DeSantis as their choice for future leadership.