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Ron DeSantis has temporarily halted his 2024 presidential campaign in order to be present in Florida and assist in the preparations for an approaching tropical storm. His campaign team has refuted any claims suggesting that he is completely withdrawing from the race.
According to Newsweek, initially scheduled to be in South Carolina for his White House campaign activities on Monday, DeSantis returned to Florida over the weekend to hold a press conference addressing Tropical Storm Idalia. The storm is projected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday morning. During the press conference on Sunday, DeSantis affirmed his commitment to remain in the state to contribute to emergency planning efforts.
DeSantis stated, “Our focus is on addressing this situation, and we are determined to fulfill our responsibilities.” When questioned about the status of his planned campaign events, the governor responded, “I am present, I am here.” No further statements have been provided by DeSantis’ campaign team.
Casey DeSantis, the governor’s spouse, who has accompanied him during several campaign stops for the 2024 election, participated in a town hall in Kershaw and a barbecue organized by South Carolina Representative Jeff Duncan in Anderson on Monday, representing her husband.
Furthermore, DeSantis announced on Monday that he would be temporarily suspending tolls along the western coast of Florida to facilitate the evacuation process for residents in the affected area. He emphasized, “Individuals under evacuation orders should immediately make arrangements to relocate to a safe location nearby. Travel a shorter distance, not an extensive one. Waiving tolls will lighten the burden on families within the storm’s path.”
While there are speculations that DeSantis might be ending his campaign altogether, his team has denied these assertions. DeSantis, who was once regarded as a potential future presidential candidate, has encountered challenges in his 2024 campaign and has struggled to narrow the gap in polling numbers against former President Donald Trump, who currently holds a substantial lead.
Even Trump himself hinted at the possibility of DeSantis exiting the presidential race, stating, “There are strong rumors circulating in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Presidential campaign is facing significant challenges, and whose poll ratings have significantly declined, positioning him third or fourth in certain states, may withdraw from the Presidential race to instead contend against Rick Scott for a Senate seat in Florida.” Trump shared this on Truth Social, his social media platform. He added, “Now, isn’t that an intriguing twist?“
DeSantis’ press secretary, Bryan Griffin, dismissed Trump’s suggestion as “misinformation” in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Griffin conveyed, “It’s clear that Donald Trump and his team of advisors are feeling uneasy about Ron DeSantis’ successful debate performance and the considerable momentum it has generated.” He continued, “They are aware that this is a competitive two-person contest, and we are committed to achieving victory in the presidential primaries. Rather than disseminating false information from New Jersey, the Trump campaign should focus on getting their candidate engaged in campaigning in Iowa and participating in debates before it becomes too late.”
Based on the national average poll tracker from FiveThirtyEight, Trump is the significant frontrunner for securing the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination with 49.2 percent of support. This is the case despite the legal challenges that the former president is currently facing. DeSantis stands in second place with 14.9 percent of support.