Trump’s 2024 Campaign Courts DeSantis Donors in Bid for GOP Nomination

Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign is reportedly making moves to court donors who have previously supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The move is seen as an attempt to convince them to switch sides and support Trump instead. Trump’s campaign is presenting the former president’s rising poll numbers as an unstoppable force in the race for the Republican nomination.[0] However, DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon, has become the de facto challenger to Trump’s stranglehold on the GOP.[1] The governor has won conservatives over with his mixture of policies and political stunts, and some polls have shown him pulling significantly ahead of Trump for the GOP nomination.[1] In the past few weeks, Trump has outdone DeSantis, causing people to question if DeSantis is using his popularity wisely by competing directly with Trump.[1]

DeSantis’s supporters say his ability to winnow the field to two front-runners, the governor and Trump, is a testament to his strength.[2] Nonetheless, his lead in the polls starts to diminish when faced with a pool of two or more contenders.[2] In its courtship of DeSantis contributors, it is clear that the Trump campaign sees the risk that DeSantis poses to Trump’s path to the nomination, particularly in terms of his fundraising strength.[3] The former governor has $90 million in leftover funds in his political committee, and he has in the past received the backing of GOP megadonors such as investor Ken Griffin, options trader Jeff Yass, and private equity investor John Childs.[3] During February, DeSantis organized a gathering for donors, which attracted numerous significant contributors, including some who have previously supported Trump.[3]

Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin wrote a memo of three pages detailing a number of polls and recent trends that are advantageous to Trump.[4] According to data from Yahoo/YouGov, Trump was ahead of DeSantis in the 2024 election with 57 percent of the vote compared to DeSantis’ 31 percent in the first poll after Trump’s indictment.[5] Support for Trump against DeSantis has tripled since the previous survey conducted just two weeks ago.[6] The memo argues that Trump will be the inevitable Republican nominee, so the donors should back him instead of DeSantis.[6] The text depicts DeSantis as a hopeless case, but emphasizes Trump’s comeback in surveys, especially after his prosecution and detention in New York City.[4]

The news comes as DeSantis continues to boast impressive fundraising totals. The pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down revealed that it had raised $30 million between March 9 and Sunday. The Trump campaign is trying to enlist donors who have supported DeSantis, by presenting the former president’s rising poll numbers as an unstoppable force in the race for the US Republican nomination. The memo written by John McLaughlin was included in an email along with a link to a Trump donation page.[7] It remains to be seen if donors will be receptive to the memo and switch their allegiances to Trump. Many are watching closely to see if DeSantis will announce his candidacy and how he will respond to this latest move by the Trump campaign.

0. “Trump Campaign Tries to Raid DeSantis Donors With Pollster Pitch” Bloomberg, 6 Apr. 2023,

1. “Should Ron DeSantis Give Up?” msnNOW, 6 Apr. 2023,

2. “What a Trump fundraising surge would mean for 2024: ‘Smaller donors tend to be voters'” Washington Examiner, 6 Apr. 2023,

3. “Trump makes play for DeSantis donors – POLITICO” POLITICO, 5 Apr. 2023,

4. “Trump campaign tries to poach some of DeSantis’s top donors: Report” Washington Examiner, 6 Apr. 2023,

5. “Susie Wiles memo brags about Donald Trump’s ‘largest ever lead over Ron DeSantis'” Florida Politics, 3 Apr. 2023,

6. “Trump Pleads with DeSantis Donors to Jump Ship In Memo Blasting Gov’s ‘Collapsing Numbers’” Mediaite, 6 Apr. 2023,

7. “Trump is trying to recruit DeSantis’ donors” WWL, 6 Apr. 2023,

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