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DeSantis ends 2024 presidential campaign

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Jan 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 09:36:44-05

(CNN) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Sunday that he is ending his 2024 presidential bid.

His announcement, made in a video posted on X, comes after a disappointing second-place finish in last week’s Iowa Republican caucuses.

It’s a devastating blow to the promising career of a once-rising GOP star, and his failure to reach the lofty expectation of his candidacy has already sparked a wave of second-guessing from close allies and advisers. Some believe DeSantis took too long to attack former President Donald Trump. Others think his team underestimated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

More yet remain convinced that there was nothing DeSantis could have done to wrestle the party from Trump’s loyal and sizable followers.

“DeSantis has run the playbook to a T,” Steve Deace, a well-known conservative radio commentator and supporter of the Florida governor, told CNN in recent weeks. “It’s just as simple as: when they started indicting Donald Trump, people weren’t ready to move on from him. And for DeSantis, it wasn’t quite his time.”

For his part, DeSantis has blamed his performance on a host of challenges, including Iowa’s weather, conservative media’s loyalty to Trump and the unprecedented barrage of negative ads against him. One thing he hasn’t faulted was his main pitch to voters – his record of accomplishment in Florida – which he continued to feature in speech after speech until his final moments as a presidential candidate.

His departure leaves former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as the lone Trump alternative in the race but without much time to consolidate support and catch up to the front-runner.