Donald Trump on Tuesday evening made the big primetime announcement, his third straight presidential bid to return to the White House in 2024, but the Republican party large contributors are not so convinced and are backing a fresh crop of GOP contenders, among which Florida’s and Virginia’s Republican governors, Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin, considered as more rational and electable for magic 2024.
Although neither man has formally announced his candidacy, they have both started to put in place the fundraising teams and infrastructure that would be necessary to explore a presidential bid. Mega-donors are blaming the former president for the poor performance in the midterm elections last week with no red tide tsunami.
“I’m not going to give (Trump) a nickel,” said New York-based businessperson Andy Sabin, who donated US$ 120,000 toward Trump’s failed 2020 reelection bid. Sabin contributed US$ 55,000 this year to a pro-DeSantis PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, which supported the Florida governor’s successful bid for reelection, and plans to back DeSantis if he runs for president.
Trump’s PACs on the other hand have largely relied on small-dollar donors. Save America, one of Trump’s PACs, has raised over US$ 36 million in the 2022 election cycle from individuals who have given US$ 200 or more, according to data from OpenSecrets.
Sabin blames Trump for the party’s poor showing on Election Day. Democrats maintained control of the Senate after a key victory by Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nevada, while Republicans are projected to pick up a few seats as well as control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a YouGov poll taken after the Nov. 8 election, shows that 41% of those surveyed who said they were Republican prefer DeSantis as the GOP nominee for president in 2024 to 39% who like Trump. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows 47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents would support Trump. The same poll shows 33% would support DeSantis.
Miami Dolphins owner and real estate titan Stephen Ross, has told friends that he likes DeSantis and could back him if he ran for president. A fundraiser for Trump, Ross gave US$220,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC this year, state records show.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who gave over US$ 100 million in the midterms mainly toward Republicans running for state and federal races, recently told Politico that he’s prepared to back DeSantis if he runs for president. DeSantis gave US$ 5 million to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC last year, state records show.