After the media spent two years building up Ron DeSantis as a supposed contender for the 2024 presidential election, DeSantis’ attempt at a national rollout last month was so disastrous that it’s cut his primary polling numbers roughly in half.
Now a major donor is cutting off DeSantis, at least for now. That’s a big blow because Republican candidates increasingly rely on huge donations from a handful of mega donors instead of a bunch of small dollar donations. If you lose one of your main donors, you risk having no campaign at all.
Interestingly, this particular donor says he’s pulling the plug on Ron DeSantis “because of his stance on abortion and book banning.” That’s right, even though he’s a Republican donor, he’s saying that DeSantis has gone too far to the right with extremist positions.
The kicker is that even as DeSantis’ poll numbers have collapsed over the past month, Donald Trump’s 2024 Republican primary poll numbers are still in the same mid-fifties range that he’s been stuck in for the past two years. In other words, none of the supporters bailing on DeSantis ended up shifting to Trump. Instead they shifted to also-ran candidates or “undecided.”
I took a lot of heat from all sides when I predicted two years ago that Donald Trump would end up criminally indicted in a way that scared Republican primary voters away from rallying around him, and that Ron DeSantis would implode the minute voters saw that his weakling nature did not at all match the manner in which he’d been built up in the media. But that’s pretty much what we’re now seeing happen.
So if Trump and DeSantis both end up out of contention, what happens with the 2024 Republican primary race? Well, the nomination has to go to someone. My concern all along is that it might end up going to some outsider or fresh faced newcomer who enters the race fairly late, gains momentum, and wins the Republican nomination without anyone having had the time to do any proper vetting first. If we’re going to be vigilant going forward, that’s what we should be watching out for.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report