WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two storms blew through Iowa on caucus day. One buried the state in snow while the other buried Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The New Hampshire primary promised more of the same Tuesday as DeSantis polled in the single digits there. Now, his national ambitions are sidelined with a speed few pundits had imagined.
Joe Budd, a Palm Beach County state committeeman for the GOP, was an early DeSantis backer.
DeSantis suspends presidential campaign before New Hampshire primary
"I just think the core support of Trump was maintained, and in order to beat President Trump, someone like DeSantis, who was a real conservative, needed that side of the party that Trump basically owns at this stage," Budd said.
DeSantis rose on the national radar because of his culture war fight and his fight against COVID-19 restrictions. Democrats in Tallahassee said they worry it will be more of the same when he gets back to his full-time job.
"What I would like to see is him come back and address the problems of the state of Florida," state Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, said. "We have a terrible property insurance crisis. We have an affordability crisis. We have 800,000 people who don't have health care in the state of Florida."
Treasure Coast Republican State Rep. Toby Overdorf, offered high praise for DeSantis. He also acknowledged the people he kept hearing from on the campaign trail.
"Across the board, they were saying, 'We love Gov. DeSantis. We think he's a great governor, but we really believe Trump needs to get back in there. He's the man to fix this country and to get it back to where it needs to be,'" Overdorf said.
The White House race snaps even more sharply into focus with DeSantis out of the picture.
"There was a concerted effort to overthrow the government on Jan. 6, so I don't think we're being alarmist by saying the future of the government is at stake in this November election," Berman countered.