Elder, a prominent conservative radio host, had launched his longshot bid for the GOP nomination in April, citing his moral, religious, and patriotic duty as the driving force behind his decision to enter the presidential race. Despite initial optimism about participating in the GOP’s first presidential primary debate in August, Elder failed to meet the polling and donor thresholds set by the Republican National Committee (RNC), precluding him from joining his fellow candidates on the debate stage.
“As I look at the path forward, and after careful consideration and consultation with my campaign team, I have made the difficult decision to suspend my campaign,” Elder said in a statement announcing the end of his campaign.
“Now that I am exiting the race,” he continued. “I am proud to announce my endorsement of Donald Trump for President of the United States.”
In response to the exclusion, Elder criticized the RNC for what he described as “rigged” debate requirements, leading him and fellow candidate Perry Johnson to announce plans for a lawsuit against the RNC for their non-inclusion. Subsequently, Elder faced further challenges in meeting the heightened polling and donor thresholds for the subsequent stages of the Republican primary, limiting his traction in the polls and leaving him off prominent polling averages, including FiveThirtyEight’s tracker and Morning Consult’s assessments of the GOP field.
Elder, who had previously contested the California gubernatorial recall election against Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021, opted against challenging the incumbent governor in early 2022. Following his departure from his long-running radio show, “The Larry Elder Show,” Elder had established a political action committee dedicated to supporting Republican candidates across various federal and local races.
With Elder’s departure from the 2024 presidential race, the competitive field of Republican candidates vying for the party’s nomination is further streamlined, highlighting the dominance of former President Trump as the front-runner within the Republican Party. As the 2024 election cycle progresses, the dynamics within the GOP continue to evolve, shaped by the ongoing efforts of various candidates seeking to consolidate support and present themselves as formidable contenders for the party’s presidential nomination.