The presidential campaign for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks like it’s crumbling before it even really got started.
Recently, the team shed about 10 staffers, according to an anonymous source close to the internal deliberations who spoke with Politico. DeSantis’ campaign apparently needed to shed costs as it’s facing a crunch on crash that’s forcing it to focus its efforts more squarely on Iowa.
The staffers who were let go were all involved in planning events, according to the source, and some may end up working for outside groups that are allied with the DeSantis campaign.
One super PAC that’s behind DeSantis, called Never Back Down, has already received resumes from some of those staffers, one source told Politico.
The campaign decided to start peeling back on the number of staff members it has because the campaign as a whole hasn’t met the expectations it had for fundraising.
During the second quarter of this year, DeSantis raised $20 million, but $3 million of that amount was earmarked toward the general election. In addition to that, only roughly 15% of the governor’s overall donations come from what are known as “small-dollar donors.”
That’s a group that contributes heavily to former President Donald Trump, who’s built quite the robust network to reach this group of people over the last few years. If DeSantis wants to contend with Trump at all from a fundraising perspective, he’ll have to figure out how to tap into this group of donors.
During the second quarter, the DeSantis campaign had about 90 staffers, which cost more than $1 million in payroll, insurance, processing fees and taxes.
The fact that the campaign is already having financial problems is certainly not a good sign for the ability of the Florida governor to put up a good fight over the long term. That being said, his difficulties fundraising haven’t had any real effect on his place in the polls – even if he is a distant second at the moment to Trump.
Part of the reason for that might be the fact that Never Back Down itself has raised in excess of $100 million.
For now, the DeSantis campaign isn’t sounding any alarm bells, painting a rosy picture of where they are. As Andrew Romeo, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said:
“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. Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require a nimble and candidate-driven campaign, and we are building a movement to go the distance.”
Iowa is projected to be a state that DeSantis focuses heavily on. He’s about to go on a tour of all 99 counties in the state, though that might require a rather large staff of event planners. As such, Never Back Down might be called on to stage many of those events.
DeSantis is currently trailing Trump in polls in Iowa – as he is everywhere – though some of the governor’s advisors have told him there’s opportunity there. That’s why Iowa is a key state in DeSantis’ mind.