Insights and Challenges: Steve Cortes’ Candid Admissions on Ron DeSantis’ Presidential Campaign

In a recent interview on Twitter Spaces, Steve Cortes, a former Trump adviser and national spokesman for the DeSantis-aligned Never Back Down super PAC, made some candid admissions about Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign.[0] Cortes acknowledged that the campaign is currently the “clear underdog” and is trailing significantly behind former President Donald Trump in national polls. According to one recent poll, only 16% of voters would vote for DeSantis in the GOP primary, compared to 49% for Trump.[0] Cortes also mentioned that Vivek Ramaswamy is trailing DeSantis by just six points, which could be concerning for the campaign.

Cortes tried to spin the news by calling DeSantis the “clear underdog,” but he also couldn’t help but express his concerns. He admitted that in the first four key nominating states, the polls are tighter, but DeSantis is still clearly behind.[1] Cortes stated that they are down by double digits and have a lot of work to do.[2] However, he remained optimistic that the gap between DeSantis and Trump could be closed once DeSantis’ personal and political story is shared more widely on the campaign trail.[3]

Despite the challenges, DeSantis’ campaign spokesperson, Bryan Griffin, expressed confidence in DeSantis’ bid for the presidency.[2] Griffin stated that DeSantis has been underestimated in every race he has won, and this time will be no different.[3] He believes that DeSantis over-delivered on his promises as governor and has the national vision needed to restore the country and lead the Great American Comeback.[2] Griffin emphasized that the campaign is a marathon, not a sprint, and they will ultimately be victorious.[2]

Not everyone shares the same optimism for DeSantis’ campaign.[4] Jeff Timmer, a veteran GOP political strategist from the Lincoln Project, called DeSantis the “worst” presidential candidate he has ever seen.[4] Timmer’s remarks highlight the skepticism some have towards DeSantis’ chances of winning the nomination.

Cortes’ comments about DeSantis being the “clear underdog” and facing an uphill battle contrast with the typical confident projection of DeSantis’ aides.[5] However, Cortes did mention that if DeSantis does not prevail, it would make President Trump better for having a competitive primary. This suggests that Cortes sees the primary campaign as an opportunity for healthy competition that could benefit Trump in the general election.

DeSantis himself has outlined his plans for his potential presidency. He stated that if Congress does not work with him to reduce the size and scope of the government, he will use government agencies to push back against woke ideology and leftism in American institutions. DeSantis believes that his approach can help restore the country and combat the ideological shifts he perceives.

The article also mentions poll results regarding potential matchups between DeSantis and Biden or Trump. In a hypothetical matchup between DeSantis and Biden, the race would be close, with Biden receiving slightly more support. However, in a rematch between Trump and Biden, the poll results indicate that Biden would have a stronger lead.[6]

Cortes’ endorsement of DeSantis in May, despite previously working for Trump, showcases his belief in DeSantis as the best candidate to win the presidency in 2024.[2] Cortes sees DeSantis as the “next natural evolution” of the America First movement and believes he has a winning agenda for the presidency.[7]

Overall, the article highlights the challenges and uncertainties surrounding DeSantis’ presidential campaign. While some express confidence in his ability to overcome the odds, others are more skeptical. The article showcases the candid admissions from Cortes and the contrasting projections of DeSantis’ aides. It also touches on DeSantis’ plans for his potential presidency and provides insights into the poll results for various matchups.

0. “Ron DeSantis Super PAC Spokesman Basically Admits the Governor’s Presidential Prospects Are in the Gutter” Vanity Fair, 5 Jul. 2023,

1. “Fox’s Will Cain Presses DeSantis On His Brutal Poll Numbers: ‘They’ve Stayed There For About Two Months’” Mediaite, 7 Jul. 2023,

2. “DeSantis PAC official says 2024 election an uphill battle: ‘Trump is the runaway front-runner'” Washington Examiner, 3 Jul. 2023,

3. “Top Ron DeSantis Backer Causes Waves As He Admits Trump Is The ‘Runaway Frontrunner'” Benzinga, 4 Jul. 2023,

4. “Ron DeSantis the ‘Worst Candidate I’ve Ever Seen’—Former GOP Strategist” Newsweek, 29 Jun. 2023,

5. “DeSantis super PAC spokesman acknowledges campaign is ‘way behind’ Trump” CBS Miami, 5 Jul. 2023,

6. “Trump-DeSantis 2024 Ticket Could Pave Path To Presidency For DeSantis, Says Political Strategist” Benzinga, 5 Jul. 2023,

7. “‘We are way behind’: Top DeSantis PAC official sounds alarm” Yahoo Life, 3 Jul. 2023,

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