Ron DeSantis Super PAC Splurges $25 Million On Ad Campaign

A pro-Ron DeSantis Super PAC is dropping $25 million to secure TV time in Iowa and New Hampshire. This is the biggest ad campaign that pro-DeSantis organizations have launched during his 2024 bid for the Republican Party nomination.

Per a source familiar with these kinds of ad strategies, the DeSantis campaign is entering a new phase after Labor Day. 

Never Back Down strategist Jeff Roe detailed this strategy to donors earlier last week in Milwaukee. This is the location where eight candidates vying for the GOP nomination debated each other, according to the anonymous source.

Thus far, the $25 million number was not immediately confirmed in disclosures that television stations filed. However, data from ad tracking firm AdImpact found that at least $11.4 million in ads were placed across Iowa starting in September 6 and going until the end of October.

According to federal filings, this spending amount constitutes over 25% of the $96.8 million cash that the political action committee disclosed towards the end of June. 

Trump is leading DeSantis by over 40 percentage points among Republican voters, per the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. DeSantis’s current support rate of 14.6% represents a decrease from when he threw his hat in the presidential ring in late April. Now, multi-millionaire investor Vivek Ramaswamy could potentially upend DeSantis with some polls showing him closing the gap between him and the Florida governor. 

Never Back Down is in charge of the bulk of DeSantis’ traditional grassroots campaign operation in early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. 

Roe informed donors in Milwaukee on August 23 that Never Back Down will build upon that ground-game strategy, hiring 13 additional staffers in states beyond Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four Republican states that voters will cast ballots in.

Some of the largest donors to the DeSantis super PAC are hotel magnate Robert Bigelow, Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, and Sequoia Capital former managing partner Douglas Leone.

DeSantis’s campaign has been failing due to its low-energy “Trumpism without Trump” ethos and inability to fully distance itself from the neoconservative movement as evidenced by how he has backed down from his previous anti-Ukraine war comments. 

It’s highly unlikely that more money will aid DeSantis making the next leap in his presidential bid.

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