Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has withdrawn from the 2024 presidential race and endorsed Donald Trump. He promptly exited ahead of the Republican primary election in New Hampshire, where he was polling in single digits. Despite once being considered a strong contender for the party's nomination, DeSantis stated on Sunday that he did not "have a clear path to victory."

Nikki Haley, the last remaining challenger to Mr Trump, asserted that she was the "only one" capable of defeating US President Joe Biden. Ms Haley is set to compete with Mr Trump in New Hampshire on Tuesday, the second in a series of state-by-state contests to select a Republican nominee for the November general election.

In a nearly five-minute video posted on X, formerly Twitter, released on Sunday afternoon, Mr DeSantis expressed that his campaign had "left it all out on the field." He stated, "If there was anything I could do to produce a favourable outcome - more campaign stops, more interviews - I would do it," as he concluded his seven-month campaign.

The Florida governor announced his endorsement of Mr Trump, who is the clear frontrunner after winning the first contest in Iowa with 51% of the vote. DeSantis acknowledged "disagreements" with the former president but asserted that Mr Trump was "superior" to Mr Biden, the likely Democratic nominee for the November general election. "I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honour that pledge," Mr DeSantis said.

Cheers erupted when Mr Trump addressed Mr DeSantis's withdrawal and endorsement to a room in New Hampshire full of supporters on Sunday afternoon. Later, at a rally, Mr Trump described his former opponent as a "really terrific person," adding, "He ran a really good campaign, it's not easy."

Despite presenting himself as the Republican candidate who could champion Mr Trump's populist agenda without drama or baggage, Mr DeSantis was referred to as "diet Trump" by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz at the event. Some supporters of Mr Trump expressed liking DeSantis but felt this was not the right time for him.

After DeSantis' announcement, the Trump campaign called on all Republicans to rally behind Mr Trump, criticizing his former UN Ambassador as "the candidate of the globalists and Democrats who will do everything to stop the America First movement."

Mr DeSantis also took a swipe at Ms Haley, labeling her a member of "the old Republican guard of yesteryear - a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism." Ms Haley, a former South Carolina governor, insisted she was the conservative candidate and the "only one" who could beat Mr Biden.

DeSantis narrowly edged out Ms Haley in last week's Iowa caucuses with 21% of the vote, compared to her 19%, both well behind Mr Trump. His departure from the race allows him to avoid a potentially embarrassing third-place finish in New Hampshire to Ms Haley, who has focused more resources in the state. However, a person familiar with DeSantis' election night plans in New Hampshire was caught off guard by the news of his exit, revealing that plans had been confirmed on Saturday for their election night celebration this coming Tuesday.

Chris Ager, the state committee chair of New Hampshire's Republican Party, commented that "the race has been moving toward a one-vs-one between Trump and Haley for a while." He added, "This makes it so."