Ron DeSantis raised $15 million over the past quarter, but only has $5 million left that can be spent in the Republican primary race, according to two people familiar with the matter, putting pressure on the Florida governor’s presidential campaign to conserve cash.
(Bloomberg) — Ron DeSantis raised $15 million over the past quarter, but only has $5 million left that can be spent in the Republican primary race, according to two people familiar with the matter, putting pressure on the Florida governor’s presidential campaign to conserve cash.
The campaign has $13.5 million in cash on hand, but $8.5 million of that can’t be used in the primary, the people said. Campaign contribution limits restrict some money for use only in the general election.
The campaign is also planning to move about a dozen staff members to Iowa from Tallahassee, Florida. The staffing changes mean DeSantis will have about two dozen staffers in the state, which is set to hold the party’s first nominating contest Jan. 15. He has spent much of his time and resources campaigning in Iowa, after scaling back a nationwide political operation to curb costs.,
“We are redeploying many of our assets so we can further take the fight directly to Donald Trump in Iowa,” said David Polyansky, DeSantis’s deputy campaign manager, adding that about one-third of the Tallahassee staff would relocate.
The third-quarter fundraising total signals that major donors are continuing to support DeSantis with $6,600 contributions — the maximum contribution for an individual for both the primary and general election — but that the campaign is failing to bring in enough new donors to fund the primary race.
Still, DeSantis’s campaign manager, James Uthmeier, said that the $15 million raised from July through September demonstrates the strength of the campaign.
“This significant fundraising haul not only provides us with the resources we need in the fight for Iowa and beyond, but it also shuts down the doubters who counted out Ron DeSantis for far too long,” Uthmeier said in a statement.
The campaign is required to disclose its donor list and expenses to the Federal Election Commission later this month, which will shed more light on the financial health of DeSantis’s political operation.
The third-quarter total falls short of the more than $20 million DeSantis raised during the second quarter. DeSantis’s momentum has slowed over the past three months as his campaign faced setbacks over financial concerns, leadership changes and staff layoffs.
He is still second to former President Donald Trump in national polling, but he is polling at 13.7%, compared to 20.6% average support at the end of the last quarter, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling analysis.
The New York Times was first to report DeSantis’s third-quarter fundraising total and the planned staff moves.
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