The governor cancelled appearances on both CNN’s State of the Union and NBC’s Meet the Press on 21 January, CNN’s Jim Acosta reported on Saturday night, spurring questions about the state of his campaign. Less than an hour later, Mr DeSantis’ press secretary released a statement.
“The media hits were canceled due to a scheduling issue and will be rescheduled,” press secretary Bryan Griffin said on X. “The governor will be traveling Sunday morning with the campaign and has public events scheduled Sunday evening through Tuesday in NH.”
However, observers are still speculating this could indicate the end of the DeSantis presidential campaign.
“I don’t know if it’s today, tomorrow, next week or the following week, but obviously the man has run out of steam, out of options, out of money, out of a path,” Ana Navarro, senior political commentator for CNN, said on Saturday.
“It gives him a way of easing back, because he’s got to come back to Florida and be governor,” she later continued.
In conversation with Navarro, former Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera called the cancelled appearances “coveted” slots.
“Everybody wants that, especially before a big primary,” he said.
Despite cancelling media appearances, Mr DeSantis did add another campaign event to his Sunday evening schedule in New Hampshire, per NBC News, where he’s currently polling in the single digits.
A CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire has the Florida governor standing at 6 per cent, with frontrunner Donald Trump holding 50 per cent and former Governor Nikki Haley at 39 per cent. Meanwhile, a Suffolk University survey from Wednesday had Mr Trump with 16 points over Ms Haley, and Mr DeSantis at just 5 per cent.
If he stays in the single digits come the primary this Tuesday, Mr DeSantis will fall under the 10 per cent minimum required to win delegates in the state’s primary. That could come as a significant blow to his campaign following his second-place victory in Iowa last week.
What remains crystal clear, however, is that Mr Trump remains the front-runner — and his fellow Republican candidates are in a race for second place.
The Independent has contacted Mr DeSantis’ campaign for comment.