Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hauled in a record $8.2 million in the first 24 hours after launching his presidential campaign.
DeSantis was able to garner millions even though his presidential campaign announcement was blemished by temporary technical difficulties at the start of the Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk, which had nearly 4 million people tune in.
DeSantis easily out-fundraised the past two presidents – who are currently the front-runners in the 2024 race.
“The money raised by DeSantis tops the previous record – the $6.3 million that President Joe Biden hauled in as a White House candidate during the first 24 hours after his campaign launch in 2019,” according to Fox News.
Donald Trump raised $9.5 million in his first six weeks after announcing his 2024 candidacy in mid-November. The former Republican president also reportedly raised $7 million in the three days after his indictment in Manhattan.
Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis, expects to have an overall budget of at least $200 million – including $80 million transferred from an old DeSantis state political account.
Top officials with Never Back Down believe they can promote DeSantis as “the only candidate to take on — and win — the cultural fights that are definitional for the Republican Party in 2024,” according to the New York Times.
The super PAC is preparing to launch a “$100 million voter-outreach push so big it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses.”
Never Back Down plans to hire more than 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day in an attempt to sway Americans to vote for DeSantis in the upcoming Republican primary. The organization – which was established in March by Ken Cuccinelli, a former senior official in Donald Trump’s administration – has already started hiring recruits in 18 states.
Never Back Down executive director Chris Jankowski told the Times, “No one has ever contemplated the scale of this organization or operation, let alone done it. This has just never even been dreamed up.”
Never Back Down hired top Republican strategist Jeff Roe, the founder of political consultancy Axiom Strategies and Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager in 2016, as well as a close adviser to Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Roe conceded that Trump has been “the leader of a movement,” but proclaimed that DeSantis “has the opportunity to be the leader of the party and the movement.”
“That is a key difference,” Roe stated. “I don’t believe people fundamentally understand that you can be a leader of a movement and not be the leader of your party. Ron DeSantis has the ability to be both. Trump does not.”
Regarding defeating Trump, Roe said, “How do you beat Trump? Well, you beat Trump by beating Trump. And where Ron DeSantis has beaten Trump is by doing what Republican voters want him to do the most.”
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