Ron DeSantis-Aligned Super PAC Urgently Seeks $50 Million for Iowa Caucus Strategy

A Ron DeSantis-aligned super PAC, Never Back Down, is making a desperate plea to wealthy donors to help raise $50 million before the end of the year.[0] The plea comes just hours before the Florida Governor’s first GOP debate. The super PAC is hoping to use the funds to further DeSantis’s strategy to go all-in on the Iowa caucuses, which are just over four months away. Attendees at a recent meeting revealed that CEO Chris Jankowski told donors, “We just need your help getting $50 million more by the end of the year, and $100 million more by the end of March.”[1]

The super PAC, which has already amassed $132.5 million, is suspending door-knocking operations in Nevada, California, Texas, and North Carolina to focus resources on the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. PAC spokeswoman Erin Perrine explained, “We see real opportunities in the first three [states]. The first three are going to set the conditions for the March states.”[2] The organization is looking to reinvest in these states and believes they will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the presidential race.

The decision to shift resources to the early-voting states comes as DeSantis’s campaign struggles to gain traction. He consistently trails former President Donald Trump in national and state polls, often by more than 40 percentage points.[3] However, DeSantis’s campaign remains optimistic about his chances in Iowa, where he is only 26 percentage points behind Trump. The campaign sees Iowa as a favorable state due to its education levels, income, and religious demographics.[4] They believe that a strong showing in Iowa will set the stage for success in the later primary states.

Despite the campaign’s struggles, DeSantis’s performance in the first GOP debate was well-received by Republican voters. A Washington Post/FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll found that 29% of Republican voters who watched the debate believed DeSantis performed the best.[5] This slightly edged out businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who was declared the winner by 26% of respondents.[0] The positive reception from voters may help boost DeSantis’s fundraising efforts and overall campaign momentum.

However, the super PAC supporting DeSantis’s campaign is facing challenges of its own. Donors have backed out, causing the PAC to close. The founder of the super PAC criticized the DeSantis campaign for making “rookie s**t” mistakes and announced that he would now support Donald Trump.[6] This setback further highlights the difficulties DeSantis’s campaign is facing as they try to gain ground against Trump’s dominance in the race.

The DeSantis campaign has struggled to fundraise from small-dollar donors, relying heavily on the support of super PACs like Never Back Down.[7] These organizations can raise unlimited funds, unlike campaigns, which are limited to $3,300 from individuals for the primary race.[4] Never Back Down has already spent $5 million a month in Iowa alone, burning through cash at a rapid pace.

As the campaign enters a crucial phase, DeSantis’s team is hoping that their focus on the early-voting states and their strong debate performance will help turn the tide in their favor. They are betting on their donors to continue supporting their efforts and believe that with the right strategy and funding, they can overcome the challenges they currently face. Only time will tell if their optimism is justified and if DeSantis can mount a successful campaign against the formidable force of Donald Trump.

0. “DeSantis Group Urges Donors for $50 Million in Sign of Cash Crunch” Yahoo Canada Finance, 1 Sep. 2023,

1. “Leaked Audio Reveals Ron DeSantis-Backed Super PAC Sought $50M In Donations Ahead Of GOP Primary Debate” Benzinga, 1 Sep. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis Super PAC Is Hurting His Campaign” Newsweek, 1 Sep. 2023,

3. “Ron DeSantis super PAC cuts back on door-knocking in several states” Washington Examiner, 31 Aug. 2023,

4. “‘We need 50 million bucks’ and other takeaways from a pro-DeSantis PAC’s pitch” The Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023,

5. “DeSantis group prepares $25 million ad buy in Iowa and New Hampshire” The Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023,

6. “Trump gloats over report that $50m DeSantis super PAC closing” The Independent, 31 Aug. 2023,

7. “Ron DeSantis Super PAC Admits They’re Scared of Vivek Ramaswamy, Leaked Recording Reveals” Vanity Fair, 3 Sep. 2023,

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