DeSantis Exit From 2024 GOP Primary Further Shortens Trump’s Odds

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called it quits on Sunday. The once presumed new leader of the Republican Party — in the wake of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — failed to compete against former President Donald Trump in the early stages of the GOP primary.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in Iowa on January 15. DeSantis has ended his 2024 presidential campaign and is throwing his support behind former President Donald Trump. (Image: Getty)

DeSantis garnered 21.2% of the Iowa caucus vote, far behind Trump at 51%. Just two days before the New Hampshire primary, and with polling showing the governor commanding just 7.5% of likely voters, DeSantis suspended his presidential campaign.

It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance,” DeSantis said. “I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge.”

DeSantis said Nikki Haley, the only other major candidate remaining in the primary race, represents the “old Republican guard of yesteryear” and is a “repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism.”

Trump welcomed DeSantis’ backing and pledged to end the use of the “DeSanctimonious” nickname. DeSantis lent his endorsement despite the two engaging in a bitter dispute since the Florida governor in May 2023 announced his intent to seek the White House.

The former president called DeSantis “a really terrific person” and “very gracious.”

Trump Odds Shorten

The faction of GOP voters who are “never Trump” wanted this scenario — Trump vs. a consolidated single challenger. But Haley has faced criticism for her deep-pocketed corporate donors and her unwavering financial support of Ukraine.

Whether Haley can win over DeSantis’ supporters will be seen in the coming weeks. After New Hampshire on Tuesday, the Republican primary moves to Nevada, then South Carolina, and then Michigan.

By the time the race reaches Idaho and Missouri in early March, political bettors expect Trump to be the last candidate standing. PredictIt bettors continue to buy shares of Trump representing the Republican ticket for a third consecutive presidential election.

On the market, “Who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination?” Trump’s shares have ballooned from 84 cents a week ago to 90 cents on Monday morning. Haley’s shares are at just 9 cents.

Peer-to-peer betting exchange Smarkets gives Trump a 90% chance of winning the GOP ticket. Haley is at just 5%.

Will History Repeat?

It’s becoming increasingly likely that Trump and President Joe Biden will face off in the 2024 presidential election in what would be a 2020 rematch. Trump, 77, and Biden, 81, are essentially neck and neck for the general election.

Biden and Trump’s shares on the PredictIt market asking, “Who will win the 2024 US presidential election?” are each at 45 cents. Haley is at 6 cents and California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and Robert Kennedy Jr. are at 4 cents. VP Kamala Harris is at two cents.

Some political pundits still believe Biden will ultimately decide not to seek reelection and step aside. But that’s likely only if someone with strong name recognition and approval numbers in the Democratic party emerges.

That person, some Dems hops, will be Michelle Obama. There are rampant rumblings throughout the political arena that the former first lady is mulling a late entry. Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime advisor, believes Ms. Obama will soon announce her candidacy.

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