While Ron DeSantis’ official announcement that he was running for president, which he made on Twitter, and for which Twitter CEO Elon Musk served as host, was glitched filled, DeSantis raked in $8.2 million in the 24 hours following the announcement, breaking the previous mark of $6.3 million that Joe Biden raised on the initial day of his White House run in 2019.
“The tremendous support we’ve experienced in the last 24 hours will be critical as we hit the ground running in the early nominating states to share Governor DeSantis’ plan to revitalize the American Spirit,” DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck said in a statement touting the early financial numbers.
DeSantis, 44, joined five other prominent Republicans officially vying to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election: former President Donald Trump, 76; two-term South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, 51; South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott, 57; biotech magnate Vivek Ramaswamy, 37; and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, 72.
The Candidates’ Cash
The Epoch Times took a look at campaign finance data, including the most recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings which were updated on the final day of March.
Desantis’ out-of-the-gates $8.2 million raised adds to an already well-funded war chest. He has $86 million available through a political action committee (PAC), Friends of Ron DeSantis.
And, while DeSantis trails by large measure frontrunner Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination, he holds an advantage, at least for now, in money at hand and fundraising.
Trump’s presidential campaign account has a balance of $13.9 million, and there is $18.3 million in his PAC Save America ($18.3 million), for a total of $32.2 million he can access.
Another GOP hopeful with a solid balance sheet is Tim Scott, one of Congress’ most successful and effective fundraisers. His 2022 Senate reelection run, which he completed by winning 63 percent of the vote, brought in more than $41 million, about $22 million of which was unspent and he has made available to his presidential campaign.
In the first 24 hours after Scott announced he was running for president, he raised in the neighborhood of $2 million.
Nikki Haley has $4.1 million in her campaign account.
Vivek Ramaswamy, in large part because of his personal wealth, that Forbes estimates at $600 million, is a bit of an unknown in terms of his campaign spending potential. He loaned his campaign 10.25 million, raised 1.7 million, and has $9.4 million on hand.
Still a Longshot
DeSantis will follow the online kickoff of his Great America Comeback Tour run for the presidency with an on-the-ground event on May 30 in Iowa, the state that in 2024 holds the first-in-the-nation Republican presidential primary caucus on Feb. 5. Then the Florida governor goes on a four-day tour of early primary states.
Republican presidential primary polls reveal some good news for DeSantis.
He is solidly in second place and the only candidate besides Donald Trump with double-digit support.
But, then, there is that big Trump lead. Almost all polls register that more than twice the number of voters would cast their ballot for the former president than for DeSantis.
A May 25 FOX News poll had Trump in front of DeSantis, 53 to 20 percent, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence (5 percent); Haley and Ramaswamy, both at 4 percent; Scott (2 percent); and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu tied at 1 percent.
Quinnipiac University released a poll on May 24 in which Trump led DeSantis 56 to 25 percent. Haley garnered 3 percent, and Pence, Scott, and former New Jersey Governor Christ Christie each received two percent.
And, yet, a truism in politics is that polls change, sometimes fast and dramatically.
A Rasmussen Republican primary poll published on May 17, before Scott and DeSantis jumped in the ring, found that 62 percent would vote for Trump and 17 percent for DeSantis. Pence polled at 6 percent, Haley (5 percent), Hutchinson (3 percent), and Ramaswamy (2 percent).