Donors who dished out their millions to Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns are now backing Ron DeSantis as he fights for his second term of governor of Florida.
According to Politico, 10 donors have shown their support for DeSantis, 43, in the way of a collective $3.4 million in donations. The same donors gave Trump around $24 million for his re-election campaign, including Trump’s most generous donation of $7 million from Home Depot founder, Bernie Marcus.
The substantial donations for DeSantis by those who formally backed Trump further indicates insiders expecting a possible head-head between Florida’s Don’t Say Gay governor and Trump in 2024. Most of the money-men have never backed state-level politician before.
Anti-woke, straight-talking DeSantis’ popularity has snowballed in recent months, particularly as he has continually opposed the teaching of over-sexualized LGBT material to young children.
He upset liberals and delighted Republicans with his anti-mask mandates during the Covid-10 pandemic and his approval ratings in Florida have risen to the mid-50s, while his disapproval rating is down by 40 percent – although this doesn’t necessary dictate how DeSantis would fair at a national level.
Indictive of a possible rivalry, Trump told The New Yorker: “If I didn’t endorse him [DeSatnis], he wouldn’t have won”.
Trump on Ron DeSantis: “I was very responsible for him getting elected.” pic.twitter.com/D9S5J4rwrp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 21, 2022
In the inflammatory article entitled Can Ron DeSantis displace Donald Trump as the GOP’s combatant in chief?, writer Dexter Filkins describes Florida’s governor as a more intelligent version of Trump and a “conservative folk hero”:
“DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy. Articulate and fast on his feet, he has been described as Trump with a brain”, he wrote.
When Trump was asked again for his opinion about DeSantis on NewsMax yesterday, the former president reiterated: “I was very responsible for him getting elected”.
But major donors are flocking to back DeSantis. Richard Uihlein, a shipping tycoon and Trump supporter who has donated over $30 million in the past 20 years has handed DeSantis’ campaign $1.2 million.
William Buckley, a retired venture capitalist has donated at least $1 million and Trump’s close friend, casino owner Phil Ruffin has voiced his support for DeSatnis to the tune of $100,000.
Many others are following suit.
Billionaire backer Ken Griffin who forked out $40 million during the 2022 elections has planted his flag in DeSantis’ corner and said that if Trump re-runs, he will not be supporting him.
Trump’s exciting young rival has amassed around $100 million and is now well set-up to potentially fight Trump for the GOP top spot in 2024.
A national poll of 2,000 voters saw DeSantis’ approval rating top Trump’s at 71 percent versus 67.7 percent, although neither of the men have yet declared if they will be running in 2024.
DeSantis said people often assume he may want to fight for the presidency based on his success in Florida:
“The interesting thing about me is people will always inject my name into it, just based off what I’m doing in Florida,” he said.
“It’s a little bit different for me. I think there’s obviously people that, the minute 2020 ended, have been basically running, and they’re going around doing all that stuff.
“That’s just not what I’ve been doing. I’ve just been focusing on the task at hand.”
This story syndicated with permission from Jo Marney, Author at Trending Politics
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