Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has recently laid off a significant number of campaign staffers due to fundraising struggles. With his campaign failing to gain significant traction, DeSantis has been forced to reassess his strategy and make some tough decisions. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the staff cuts and explore the challenges that DeSantis faces in his bid to win the Republican nomination.
According to recent reports, DeSantis has let go of fewer than ten staffers, primarily involved in event planning. These dismissals come amid concerns about the campaign's spending and fundraising difficulties. The campaign's second-quarter fundraising haul was around $20 million, but nearly $8 million was spent in the first six weeks of the campaign, leaving DeSantis with a cash crunch. The layoffs are an ominous sign for the campaign and underscore the challenges that DeSantis faces with both his fundraising and his spending.
The staff cuts are just part of a broader shakeup and change in strategy in the DeSantis campaign. The campaign has reportedly assessed that it burned through cash too quickly and hired too many staffers early in the campaign. Some close to the DeSantis campaign reportedly blame the campaign manager, Generra Peck, for this misstep. With the campaign struggling to make headway against former President Donald Trump, sources say that more shake-ups are expected in the coming weeks.
Despite raising $20 million since launching his presidential campaign, DeSantis has struggled to meet his fundraising goals. Over one-third of the donations were received during the first ten days of his campaign, and financial fundraising data shows that the campaign has been reliant on wealthy donors who have already reached their maximum permitted individual contributions. With DeSantis lagging behind Trump, even in his home state of Florida, the campaign has been forced to refocus its resources on early primary states.
DeSantis faces significant challenges in his bid for the Republican nomination. With Trump still holding a substantial lead in the polls, DeSantis has struggled to gain traction. The campaign's fundraising difficulties have only added to the challenges. DeSantis' campaign has reportedly come to terms with the fact that it may have underestimated Trump's hold on the base. The campaign is now focusing on early state voters who are said to be only softly committed to candidates this far out.
The DeSantis campaign has also undergone a shift in media strategy. Initially, the campaign shunned mainstream media outlets and stuck to more friendly platforms like Fox News and conservative news media. However, sources say that the governor's team is now leaning towards having DeSantis begin doing mainstream network interviews and possibly town halls. This shift comes amid a change in media strategy for the campaign, with donors becoming concerned about DeSantis' early performance.
Despite the challenges, DeSantis remains confident in his vision and policies. His plan is 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. According to an aide, Andrew Romeo, "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." DeSantis' campaign is hoping that his forward-thinking vision will resonate with voters and help him gain traction in the polls.
DeSantis faced scrutiny recently following an investigation by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, which reported several veterans resigned and reported abuse within Florida's state guard training, likening training to a militia for the civilian disaster relief force. The governor reactivated the state guard in 2022 after it had been dormant since the end of the Second World War. In May, DeSantis signed a bill to expand the state guard and make it permanent, expanding the group from 400 to 1,500 members and expanding its budget from $10m to $107.6m.