Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Presidential Campaign Faces Financial Challenges and Staff Cuts

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has faced financial challenges and has been forced to make cuts to its staff. Despite initially raising an impressive $20 million in donations within the first six weeks of the campaign, the team has already spent about $8 million of that amount. This leaves them with just $9 million to use for the primary, as the remaining $3 million can only be spent in the general election if DeSantis wins the Republican nomination.

It is worth noting that over one-third of the donations received during the first 10 days of the campaign, and financial fundraising data shows that the campaign has relied heavily on wealthy donors who have already reached their maximum permitted individual contributions.[0] The campaign has also spent a significant amount on various expenses, including payroll, merchandise, digital consulting, media placements, and direct mail.

While DeSantis did raise an impressive sum of about $20 million in the month and a half after announcing his candidacy, only 15% of that came from small-dollar donors giving less than $200. This is often seen as a measure of grassroots support for candidates.[1] The campaign saw a surge in fundraising after DeSantis launched his bid for the White House, but the momentum quickly declined in the following weeks, according to a review by CNN.[2] The opening days of the campaign brought in more than $5 million from individuals donating over $200, which accounted for about 30% of the total raised from those donors in the quarter.[2]

Despite the financial challenges, the DeSantis campaign remains optimistic. Campaign spokesperson Andrew Romeo stated, “Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see more of him in person, especially in Iowa.”[3] Romeo emphasized the need for a nimble and candidate-driven campaign to defeat Joe Biden and the significant financial resources behind him.[4]

In an effort to boost his campaign, DeSantis has also shifted his media strategy.[1] He recently gave an interview to CNN, his first national mainstream media appearance as a presidential candidate that wasn’t with a conservative outlet.[1] This marks a departure from his previous avoidance of interviews with most mainstream journalists.[5]

However, the financial strain on the campaign is evident. NBC News reported that the campaign fired several staffers, with more terminations expected as they try to trim costs.[5] Concerns have been raised about the campaign’s spending habits and the need to bring down costs to ensure its survival. The campaign’s second-quarter report showed that while they raised $20 million, they also spent $8 million, leaving $12 million in cash on hand.[6] However, only $9 million of that can be used during the GOP primary. Additionally, most of the campaign funds came from large donations, meaning many donors have already reached their legal limit for contributions.[6]

With limited funds remaining, the campaign has had to lay off several employees.[7] Payroll, which accounts for a significant portion of the expenses, has been reduced to manage costs. The exact number of staff members let go is unknown, but it is believed to be fewer than 10 people. The campaign had 92 people on its payroll at some point during the second quarter, the highest number among Republican presidential candidates.[5]

Despite the challenges, the DeSantis campaign is not giving up. They are refocusing their resources on early primary states and planning to boost their efforts through the pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down. This super PAC has committed to spending up to $200 million to support DeSantis’ presidential bid.[8]

However, some donors and supporters have expressed discontent over the campaign’s financial management and DeSantis’ performance compared to former President Donald Trump.[9] They believe that DeSantis has not ignited the way they expected. The campaign manager, Generra Peck, has faced criticism for her role in the campaign’s challenges.

In conclusion, the DeSantis presidential campaign has faced financial difficulties and has made cuts to its staff. Despite initially raising an impressive amount, the campaign has already spent a significant portion of its funds. They are now left with limited resources to use for the primary. The campaign is trying to refocus its efforts and boost its performance, but it faces challenges in terms of fundraising and competing against other candidates. Only time will tell if DeSantis can overcome these obstacles and gain the momentum needed to secure the Republican nomination.

0. “DeSantis reduces staff as campaign struggles to meet fundraising goals – report” The Guardian US, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/16/desantis-reduces-campaign-staff

1. “Pressure mounts for DeSantis candidacy to catch fire” Tampa Bay Times, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/07/21/pressure-mounts-desantis-candidacy-catch-fire/

2. “DeSantis fundraising slowed after initial campaign launch, filing shows” CNN, 15 Jul. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/15/politics/ron-desantis-president-campaign-fundraising/index.html

3. “DeSantis In Disarray As Campaign Sheds Staff, Focuses on Iowa” Vanity Fair, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/07/desantis-in-disarray-as-campaign-sheds-staff

4. “DeSantis fires campaign staff amid cash crunch as he lags far behind Trump in polls” USA TODAY, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/07/16/desantis-fires-campaign-staff-burns-cash/70417883007

5. “DeSantis has $12.2 million in cash on hand after raising $20 million” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 15 Jul. 2023, https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/2023/07/15/desantis-has-12-2-million-in-cash-on-hand-after-raising-20-million/70417239007/

6. “DeSantis faces calls for campaign shakeup as Republicans get antsy” Colorado Springs Gazette, 19 Jul. 2023, https://gazette.com/news/wex/desantis-faces-calls-for-campaign-shakeup-as-republicans-get-antsy/article_1859bac9-9374-55a9-90b1-844128abe878.html

7. “DeSantis lays off staffers as his campaign burns through funds” Business Insider, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/ron-desantis-lays-off-staffers-as-campaign-burns-through-funds-2023-7

8. “DeSantis fires over a dozen staffers in a cost cutting move” AL DIA News, 17 Jul. 2023, https://www.aldianews.com/en/politics/policy/desantis-fires-staffers

9. “DeSantis’s DiSastrous Campaign: Burning Cash, Firing Staff” Advocate.com, 17 Jul. 2023, https://www.advocate.com/politics/ron-desantis-disastrous-campaign

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