Rats jumping off the ship: Why GOP megadonors are abandoning Ron DeSantis in droves
When two-term Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Charlie Crist by 19 percent in the 2022 midterms, his cheerleaders were excited at the prospect of him running for president. But so far, DeSantis isn't even close to frontrunner Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.
According to Politico reporters Alex Isenstadt and Jessica Piper, some of DeSantis' top donors are now abandoning his presidential campaign — including former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has become more bullish on former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Rauner told Politico, "I think he's done a terrific job as governor of Florida, and I've been, as I think you know, a big supporter of him in that role….. (But) I think Nikki Haley probably has the best chance to win the general election."
In a report published on September 6, Isenstadt and Piper stress that Rauner isn't the only GOP megadonor who isn't excited about the pro-DeSantis super-PAC Never Back Down — or is splitting donations between DeSantis and rival candidates.
Others who have grown less enthusiastic about DeSantis include businessman Thomas Peterffy and retired venture capitalist Walter Buckley.
"Of the 50 donors who gave at least $160,000 in the years leading up to his 2022 reelection campaign," Isenstadt and Piper report, "only 16 — less than a third — provided funds to the super PAC Never Back Down, which can receive unlimited contributions, through the end of June. Eight other major donors gave directly to his presidential campaign but not the super PAC."
The journalists continue, "The top 50 list includes five donors who are now financially supporting rival presidential candidates. And of those who are giving money to the DeSantis campaign or his super PAC, five are splitting their funds with other candidates."
Politico's full report is available at this link.
- Ron DeSantis a 'terrible debater' whom GOP candidates 'should go after': Republican strategist ›
- Ron DeSantis vows to 'destroy leftism' and 'woke ideology' if elected president ›
- Ron DeSantis’ 'hostile takeover' could cost a Florida college $29 million in donations: report ›