Ron DeSantis encountered a few hiccups during his 2024 campaign launch on Wednesday evening, but he quickly found his stride. After engaging in a 75-minute policy discussion with Elon Musk, the Florida governor proceeded to high-profile interviews with Mark Levin and Trey Gowdy, followed by a tele-town hall with voters.
DeSantis plans to hold an in-person rally at an Iowa baseball stadium on Tuesday to cap off his rollout. Despite DeSantis’ strong start, mainstream media headlines were unkind, labeling his launch a “disaster” and even suggesting his campaign was doomed. However, these narratives were swiftly debunked when the campaign’s donation figures for the first 24 hours were revealed.
In a truly remarkable feat, DeSantis raised a staggering $8.2 million in just a single day, setting a new record. This resounding success serves as a reminder to remain skeptical of media reports. According to his campaign, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, with this substantial sum, firmly establishes himself as the leading contender against Donald J. Trump.
Although DeSantis encountered initial technical issues during his Twitter kickoff, these glitches did not dampen donor enthusiasm. The campaign announced that it had raised $1 million within a single hour.
Comparatively, DeSantis surpassed Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s record-setting $6.3 million raised in the first 24 hours as a candidate in 2019 and the $6.1 million amassed by former Representative Beto O’Rourke that same year.
Exceeding Biden’s previous record by $1.9 million is an impressive feat. It is worth noting that campaign donations are typically limited in size, unlike contributions to Super PACs, which often attract large donors. This suggests that nearly all the $8.2 million received came from regular, small-dollar contributors nationwide. Such a feat cannot be downplayed.
Does this mean DeSantis is guaranteed to dominate the primary race? The first primary is still seven months away, and much can change in that time. Historical precedent suggests that surprises await us as we enter the autumn.
DeSantis’ fundraising success also highlights the importance of small-dollar donations. Unlike donations to Super PACs, which often involve substantial contributions from wealthy individuals, the majority of DeSantis’ funds came from regular citizens making modest contributions. This broad support from everyday Americans underscores the genuine grassroots backing behind his candidacy.
As the primary season approaches, candidates will vie for attention, seeking to differentiate themselves and capture the hearts and minds of voters. DeSantis’ impressive fundraising total positions him as a candidate who will draw significant interest and garner attention from both supporters and rivals alike. The substantial financial backing he has received demonstrates a strong base of support and the ability to effectively communicate his platform and policies to a wide audience.
For now, candidates will focus on conveying their message and gaining support. DeSantis’ substantial fundraising achievement demonstrates that his candidacy is genuine (small-dollar donations cannot be fabricated) and will undoubtedly generate considerable interest moving forward. Furthermore, he will possess the necessary resources to establish a competitive infrastructure. Whether he will win his party’s support or crumble to Donald Trump remains to be seen.