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FILE - Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters during a caucus night party, Jan. 15, 2024, in West Des Moines, Iowa. DeSantis has suspended his Republican presidential campaign after a disappointing showing in Iowa's leadoff caucuses. He ended his White House bid Sunday, Jan. 21, after failing to meet lofty expectations that he would seriously challenge former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Ron DeSantis ends his presidential bid before New Hampshire after falling far short of Trump

By STEVE PEOPLES AP National Political Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his Republican presidential campaign Sunday on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, ending a White House bid that failed to meet expectations that he would emerge as a serious challenger to former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis announced his decision in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The ambitious big-state governor entered the 2024 presidential contest with major advantages in his quest to take on Trump, and early primary polls suggested DeSantis was in a strong position to do just that. He and his allies amassed a political fortune well in excess of $100 million, and he boasted a significant legislative record on issues important to many conservatives, like abortion and the teaching of race and gender issues in schools.

Such advantages did not survive the reality of presidential politics in 2024. From a high-profile announcement that was plagued by technical glitches to constant upheavals to his staff and campaign strategy, DeSantis struggled to find his footing in the primary. He lost the Iowa caucuses — which he had vowed to win — by 30 percentage points to Trump.

And now, DeSantis’ political future is in question after suspending his presidential bid after just one voting contest. The 45-year-old is term limited as Florida governor.

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