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DeSantis has dropped out of the race and is backing Trump

DeSantis has dropped out of the race and is backing Trump

“He won't win!” »

A comment by Ted Green, a local man who came to attend a Ron DeSantis political rally Friday evening at a small Irish pub in Dover, eastern New Hampshire, may have been a foreboding. “After New Hampshire, he's going back to Florida!” That's what's going to happen,” he explained, laughing, with interest, especially for the intimacy that this meeting allowed him to have with a candidate, “I especially watch on television.”

But it happened faster than expected.

On Sunday afternoon, the Florida governor decided to throw in the towel ahead of Tuesday's vote in New Hampshire, having entered the race for the Republican nomination as a serious rival to Donald Trump.

“I am suspending my campaign today,” he announced 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.” The 45-year-old politician, after finishing second in Iowa, received 6% of the vote for next Tuesday's vote, but far behind the former president, 21% to 51%. %.

However, on Friday evening, he let nothing appear in front of dozens of activists gathered in Dover, calling on them to rally for him in New Hampshire on Tuesday evening. “The choice is clear,” he said. Donald Trump is running on his problems, Nikki Haley is running on the problems of her donors. I am present for your and your families problems. »

“Ron DeSantis seemed to have found a solid base in Iowa, but not enough,” said Matthew Bartlett, a Republican political organizer in New Hampshire. Here, the Granite State was a significant obstacle for him. He didn't spend enough time there. It's too little, too late. » And the exit was inevitable, according to him.

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Ron DeSantis' withdrawal from the race now confirms a head-to-head battle in this corner of New England, where Donald Trump is closely followed by Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations. Surprise Tuesday. However, Sunday was not without its difficulties.

“Ron DeSantis' presence gave him a path since the Florida governor split the vote that leaned toward Trump,” summarizes political scientist Andrew Smith, an expert on voter behavior at the University of New Hampshire. Chris Christie's Abandonment [quelques jours avant l’Iowa] Aids Haley, as 65% of her supporters say she is their second choice. But by contrast, 66% of DeSantis voters say Trump would be their second choice, which now muddies the waters.

“If there's not a clear path to victory, I can't ask our volunteers to donate their time and money,” DeSantis said in his video, while admitting he has “disagreements with Donald Trump, just like the coronavirus pandemic.” But he insists that the populist he follows on many issues, with extreme positions on immigration, security or abortion, is a “great” candidate against incumbent President Joe Biden.

After Ron DeSantis's visit to Dover on Friday evening, Paul and Rebecca were brooding at the back of the pub. “I liked the way he talked without the ticker tape,” said the young woman. He has a lot to say, and that's good. Did he convince me? I do not know. But I'm sure he believes everything he says. »

“It's true that she's different from Donald Trump in style,” her husband said. But, basically, he's saying the same thing, his policies are the same as Trump's. Why take a copy when you have the original? »

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