DeSantis Relied Heavily on Big Donors in Initial Money Haul

The Florida governor's campaign had 40,000 donors in May, with an average donation of $200. This is much higher than typical for a campaign funded by grass-roots support.

DeSantis Relied Heavily on Big Donors in Initial Money Haul

Why it Matters: Small donations help sustain campaigns and show grassroots support.

It is important to consider how a campaign raises funds. Due to strict limits on campaign contributions of $3,300 for the primaries, campaigns who raise most of their money from larger contributors are not able to return again and again to these donors for support.

Small donors are especially valuable, as they can contribute $30 more than 100-fold before hitting the contribution cap.

Tim Tagaris is a Democratic digital strategist, who was in charge of the Sanders fundraising operation for 2020. He called the number DeSantis' donors "surprisingly small".

Tagaris stated that 40,000 donations in a single week by a major presidential campaign was either a sign of poor preparation or a lack of grassroots support. Tagaris added that 'that's the kind of donor number you'd expect from a top-tier Senate campaign, not a major presidential.

Eric Wilson, a former Republican digital strategist who worked for the campaign, said that this number was a "good start" for a candidate, especially one who hadn't previously run for federal office.

Wilson, now director of Center for Campaign Innovation (a conservative non-profit), said that someone should take on Trump because he had one of his best donor files.

Kamala Harris was a previous candidate who started with the same number of donors. She had 38,000 on her first day as a presidential candidate in 2019. She raised $1.5M that day, which shows how many larger checks Mr. DeSantis got.

Mr. Wilson warned against comparing Republican campaigns with Democratic ones because Republican donors have been more than a decade in the rear-view mirror when it comes to 'building a grass-roots online donor culture'

The DeSantis Campaign did not respond immediately to a comment request.

DeSantis’ haul is impressive but worth watching.

DeSantis' $8.2 million claim for an opening total is still impressive. The $8.2 million figure is impressive, surpassing the Sanders figure. It also broke the record of President Biden's 2020 campaign.

The amount of $8.2million is unclear. The campaign said that it would collect up to $3300 in general elections contributions. Mr. DeSantis cannot spend this money during the primary, and he will have to pay back the money if he does not win the nomination.

DeSantis is expected to do well in the money department, especially since his super PAC has stated that it will have a budget of at least $200 million.

Since last summer, online fundraising has become more difficult for Republicans. This includes Mr. Trump. His recent indictment temporarily boosted his fund-raising.

Next up: the money primary starts.

The threshold set by the Republican National Committee for candidates to qualify to the first debate is 40,000 donors, which Mr. DeSantis reached in his first week.

This figure was not expected to cause Mr. DeSantis any problems. The fact that the candidate who was second in polls to the former president Donald J. Trump hit this mark during his launch week shows just how burdensome that figure will be for smaller campaigns.

DeSantis' team did not hide the fact that they were raising big money in conjunction with his launch. The campaign had invited major donors to the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, for an event called Ron-O-Rama. DeSantis administration officials were also soliciting contributions from Florida lobbyists. This gave the impression that they were tracking the donations.