Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Presidential Campaign Faces Fundraising Challenges and Potential Decline in Momentum

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has seen a surge in fundraising since its launch, with a total of $20 million raised. However, over one-third of these donations were received within the first 10 days of the campaign, indicating a potential decline in momentum.[0] The campaign has heavily relied on wealthy donors who have already reached their maximum permitted individual contributions.[0] This reliance on a small pool of contributors may pose challenges for DeSantis as he tries to match the grassroots support that former President Donald Trump built up during his presidency.[1]

The financial fundraising data also reveals significant spending by the DeSantis campaign.[2] A large portion of the funds has been allocated to a payroll of 90 staffers, as well as fundraising efforts, including expenses on merchandise, digital consulting, media placements, and direct mail.[0] In the first six weeks of the campaign, DeSantis raised an impressive $20 million, but reports suggest that approximately $8 million of that amount has already been spent. This leaves the campaign with only $9 million remaining for the primary, and an additional $3 million that can only be used if DeSantis wins the Republican nomination.[3]

Despite the initial fundraising success, DeSantis’ campaign has faced challenges in sustaining momentum. After the strong start, donations slowed down in the subsequent weeks, resulting in a decrease in overall fundraising compared to the previous quarter. Among individual donors contributing more than $200, DeSantis raised over $5 million in the opening days of his campaign, representing roughly 30% of the total raised from those donors in the quarter.[4]

In comparison to other Republican candidates, DeSantis’ fundraising efforts have surpassed the likes of Donald Trump, with his campaign posting an impressive $20 million haul in the second quarter. However, former President Trump’s joint fundraising committee reported raising over $35 million during the same period, doubling the amount raised in the previous three months.[5] This indicates that Trump continues to maintain a strong base of support among donors.

DeSantis’ campaign spokesperson, Andrew Romeo, remains optimistic about the campaign’s future prospects.[6] Romeo stated that Americans are rallying behind DeSantis and his plan to reverse President Joe Biden’s policies.[7] He emphasized the need for a nimble and candidate-driven campaign to defeat Biden and the significant financial backing behind him.[8]

In addition to the official campaign, DeSantis has the support of a super PAC called Never Back Down, which has collected $130 million.[9] However, the PAC’s fundraising details have not yet been disclosed.[10] It is worth noting that the majority of these funds were transferred from a state committee supporting DeSantis’ previous reelection campaign as governor.[10] While the super PAC can provide additional support to DeSantis, it cannot officially coordinate with his campaign.

As the campaign has struggled to meet its fundraising goals, DeSantis has made the decision to trim his campaign staff.[11] Nearly $8 million of the second-quarter fundraising haul has already been spent, prompting the need for cost-cutting measures. Fewer than 10 staffers were laid off, primarily in event planning roles, and there are possibilities that they may be picked up by the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down.[0] Two senior campaign advisers have also left the campaign to work with an outside group focusing on boosting DeSantis’ presidential bid.[4]

The challenges faced by DeSantis’ campaign highlight the importance of fundraising and building a broad base of support. While he has shown promise in his initial fundraising efforts, sustaining momentum and broadening his donor base will be crucial for his success. The competition within the Republican Party is fierce, with candidates like Donald Trump and Nikki Haley also vying for the nomination. The coming months will determine whether DeSantis can overcome these hurdles and position himself as a strong contender in the 2024 presidential race.

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. “Key takeaways from the latest presidential campaign finance reports” The Washington Post, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/07/16/trump-desantis-biden-fundraising/

2. “Ron DeSantis Suffers Another Tough Week” Newsweek, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ron-desantis-suffers-terrible-week-1813219

3. “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

4. “DeSantis fundraising slowed after initial campaign launch, filing shows” CNN, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/15/politics/ron-desantis-president-campaign-fundraising/index.html

5. “Pence struggles, Trump is ahead of DeSantis and more presidential fundraising highlights” ABC News, 17 Jul. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/presidential-fundraising-highlights-trump-brings-desantis/story?id=100966898

6. “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

7. “DeSantis is the early king of Florida campaign cash. See where he’s outpacing Trump” Miami Herald, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article277366963.html

8. “DeSantis Resets 2024 Bid With Six Months Until Voting Starts” Yahoo News, 17 Jul. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/desantis-resets-2024-bid-six-090000163.html

9. “Here’s who won, and lost, and face-planted in the presidential money race last quarter” POLITICO, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/07/16/presidential-campaign-fundraising-fec-00106488

10. “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/

11. “Ron DeSantis cuts campaign staff as donations slow in faltering campaign” The Telegraph, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/07/16/ron-desantis-sacks-ten-campaign-staff-donations-slow

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