Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shows no signs of slowing down amid his meteoric rise to the top of the Republican Party as he beat former President Donald Trump in fundraising by nearly eight figures in the first half of the year.
Trump’s fundraising slowed during the first half of 2022 to only $36 million, the first six-month period since leaving office where he failed to raise $50 million during that span of time.
DeSantis raised $45 million during the same period of time, $9 million more than the former president. In April, DeSantis had already raised more than $100 million for his re-election effort in Florida, which CNN noted might have made him perhaps the first gubernatorial candidate in history “to reach the nine-figure milestone solely through donations.”
The CNN report noted that not only does the staggering sum send a strong message to Democrats in the state but also puts other Republicans aiming to potentially run in 2024 on notice.
NBC News reports that DeSantis now sits on “an unprecedented $130 million war chest.” DeSantis has also recently been touted as presidential candidate by podcast giant Joe Rogan and entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Musk, who has stated that it is time for Trump to retire for a variety of reasons, said that “if DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win – he doesn’t even need to campaign.”
Former Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker said that DeSantis was a frequent topic of conversation during a recent cruise trip with other conservatives.
“The name I hear most frequently talking to people is Ron DeSantis,” Walker said. “What they said to me all the time is, they feel like DeSantis has the kind of guts, the same kind of backbone as Trump, but is the newer, younger, fresher version. That’s what I hear repeatedly.”
Peter Feaman, a member of the Republican National Committee from Florida, said that DeSantis has more appeal with Republican voters than any other Republican he’s ever seen, including former Governors Jeb Bush and Rick Scott.
“I’ve never seen someone more popular with Republicans,” he said. “It’s amazing.”
DeSantis manages to win on issues that Republicans have long struggled on, including education, and that’s according to a recent poll conducted by a teacher union that opposes DeSantis.
NBC News reported that the poll from the American Federation of Teachers, conducted by the Democrat firm Hart Research, found that swing state voters approve of DeSantis’ positions and his rhetoric and that DeSantis was smart about where he draws the line.