Ron DeSantis, State of the State
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) delivers the State of the State address. Photo credit: State of Florida / Wikimedia

The Florida governor is the wrong person at the wrong time and picked a terrible strategy. That’s not exactly a winning formula.

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The presidential campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) began sputtering as soon as he got into the race and, based on his latest fundraising figures, may soon have run its course.

While the campaign touted a $15 million haul, only one-third of that can be spent on the primary. There are just a few minor problems: First of all, campaigns cost money… and DeSantis is spending more than he is taking in.

The fundraising figures also indicate that much of the money is coming from wealthy donors who are maxing out their contributions. However, there are only so many people who are willing to light their money on fire for a candidate who doesn’t have a chance.

To be successful, DeSantis would need to get much of his money from grassroots donors who are enthusiastic about his campaign. However, there are no grassroots donors who are enthusiastic about his campaign because people don’t like him.

That is why he is taking what little money he has to go all-in on Iowa. That’s probably the one move he has left to move the needle, but it smacks of desperation.

None of this is surprising.

While DeSantis was hailed as the one person who could take down Donald Trump, it was always clear that he would struggle. We predicted as much right when he announced his candidacy.

The Florida governor is the wrong person at the wrong time and picked a terrible strategy. That’s not exactly a winning formula.

But it raises an interesting question: Who would benefit the most if DeSantis were to drop out early?

The obvious answer would seem to be Trump, but that’s probably not the case. The governor’s support comes from people who don’t want to see the former president win the nomination. Therefore, it is unlikely that many of the people backing DeSantis now would switch their allegiance to Trump.

Instead, it is much more likely that the main beneficiaries will be one of the other establishment candidates — the South Carolina duo of former Gov. Nikki Haley and current Sen. Tim Scott or perhaps former Vice President Mike Pence.

All of them have to hope that they can attract most of the DeSantis supporters to establish themselves as the second force in the race behind the former president.

While Trump would still be far ahead, the goal of all of the remaining candidates at this point has to be to turn this contest into a head-to-head matchup.

However, it seems unlikely that somebody like Vivek Ramaswamy or former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will play along and just drop out.

Christie, for example, only appears to be in the race to antagonize Trump — perhaps because the former president gave him COVID-19.

As for Ramaswamy, he is trying not to antagonize Trump in an effort to get his blessing in four years when there will be a vacuum in the GOP.

All of this is to say that DeSantis doesn’t have a chance and that, barring any huge developments in Trump’s trials or other unforeseen events, this race remains incredibly boring.

There is a silver lining for DeSantis. At the exact same point in the 2020 race, Joe Biden raised just as much money and had dropped in the polls after having been deemed the favorite early on. And we all know how that turned out.

However, Biden didn’t have to deal with a clear frontrunner… especially not one who has a cult-like following.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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