Despite his fundraising struggles, DeSantis remains firmly in second place in the GOP primary behind Trump and Never Back Down has raised more than $100 million.
« Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failings and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see him more in person, especially in Iowa. » said DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo. « Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require an agile, candidate-led campaign, and we’re building a movement to go the distance. »
DeSantis is expected to campaign heavily in Iowa, where he is preparing to embark on a tour of the state’s 99 counties, an ambitious plan that would require a large staff for the event. Chances are Never Back Down would help stage at least some of those events; last week, the organization sponsored an appearance by DeSantis in New Hampshire.
While polls have shown DeSantis trailing in Iowa, his advisers have argued that he has an opportunity in the state. They note that Trump slammed the state’s popular Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, last week for remaining neutral in the race and that Trump skipped a forum in the state hosted by evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.
“Donald Trump gave us an opening in Iowa this week, and we’re taking it,” Romeo said.
In addition to the departure of event staff, two senior advisers to the DeSantis campaign, Dave Abrams and Tucker Obenshain, have left the campaign to work for a pro-DeSantis non-profit organization. Abrams had served as senior communications adviser and media director, and Obenshain led the campaign’s external affairs.