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Ron DeSantis endorses Trump: Impact on GOP race and Nikki Haley | World News – Times of India

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis has abruptly ended his 2024 presidential campaign, endorsing Donald Trump in a strategic move just days before the New Hampshire primary. This development leaves Nikki Haley as Trump’s sole significant opponent for the Republican nomination.
Shift in Dynamics: DeSantis, once seen as a formidable contender against Trump, faced a sharp decline, especially after his poor performance in Iowa.His withdrawal and subsequent endorsement of Trump have reshaped the Republican primary race, positioning Trump strongly against Haley.
Behind the endorsement

  • DeSantis’ calculated move: In a video message, DeSantis criticized the “old Republican guard” and positioned Trump as the preferable alternative to Haley’s “warmed-over corporatism.” This endorsement seems to align more with Republican primary voters’ preferences, as evidenced by recent polls and primary results.
  • Trump’s dominance solidified: Trump’s lead in the polls is further cemented by DeSantis’ exit. Trump’s campaign has characterized Haley as the “candidate of the globalists and Democrats,” urging Republicans to unite under the Trump banner.
  • Trump is holding a double-digit lead over Haley in New Hampshire, according to polls, and his campaign hopes a second consecutive win will make his eventual nomination all but inevitable.
  • He also holds a commanding lead in South Carolina, which votes on February 24. A Haley loss in her home state – where she served as governor from 2011 to 2017 – would likely doom her campaign.

Impact on Haley’s campaign

  • Haley’s Uphill Battle: With DeSantis out, Haley faces a more direct but challenging confrontation with Trump. Despite her resolve, reflected in her rallying call in New Hampshire, her path to nomination appears increasingly narrow, especially with Trump’s substantial lead and DeSantis supporters leaning towards Trump.
  • ‘Not a country of coronations’: In her own statement, Haley warned that the United States is “not a country of coronations.” “So far, only one state has voted. Half of its votes went to Donald Trump, and half did not … Voters deserve a say in whether we go down the road of Trump and Biden again, or we go down a new conservative road,” she said.
  • Strategist’s insight: Political strategists like David Kochel and Ford O’Connell note the minimal impact of DeSantis’ departure on the race’s overall dynamics, predicting most of DeSantis’ support will transition to Trump.

Looking back at DeSantis’ campaign

  • Early Promise, Late Decline: DeSantis’ campaign, initially marked by high hopes and substantial fundraising, encountered numerous setbacks. His late entry into the race, campaign missteps, and inability to decisively distinguish himself from Trump contributed to his declining support.
  • Trump’s Reconciliation Gesture: In a notable shift from previous hostilities, Trump acknowledged DeSantis’ contributions and welcomed his endorsement, signaling a potential collaboration moving forward.

What’s next?

  • Impending primaries and strategies: The unfolding events in the GOP primary race underscore a party at a crossroads, grappling with its identity and future direction.
  • As the New Hampshire primary approaches, Trump’s campaign focuses on consolidating support and portraying Haley’s campaign as the weaker choice. Haley, on the other hand, emphasizes the need for a fresh conservative path, distinct from the Trump and Biden narratives.
  • DeSantis’ endorsement of Trump could have lasting implications, potentially unifying the Republican base under Trump’s leadership. However, the evolving dynamics of the GOP primary and the upcoming elections in key states like South Carolina will further clarify the race’s trajectory.
  • As the GOP primary race intensifies, DeSantis’ strategic exit and endorsement of Trump mark a pivotal moment, reshaping the contest and setting the stage for a direct showdown between Trump and Haley.

(With inputs from agencies)





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