MEMO: State Of The Race — Questions You Should Be Raising

July 17, 2023

TO: Ron DeSantis for President Donors and Other Interested Parties


FROM: Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, Donald J. Trump for President 2024


DATE: July 17, 2023


RE: State Of The Race — Questions You Should Be Raising


As Governor Ron DeSantis hits the road over the next week, seeking more funds for his campaign, we believe it is important to provide you, the donors who generously fund and raise money, with a list of relevant questions considering the current circumstances faced by his campaign.


Let's recap those circumstances:


- Every public poll now shows Ron DeSantis trailing President Trump by a significant margin.


- Senior campaign officials have even confirmed this disparity, acknowledging they are "way behind" and fighting an "uphill battle." The candidate himself acknowledged his polling showing him in the "twenties."


According to NBC News, DeSantis campaign officials have said:


- "From my understanding, if we don't see a bump in the polls, we are basically going to shut down the idea of a national operation," a DeSantis-aligned operative said.


- This person stated that a shift needs to happen because it is clear to activists and donors that the current operation is not working. Ron DeSantis needs to signal to them that he recognizes this fact before any future poll shows him falling from second place nationally or in an early state.


According to American Pulse, a nationally recognized Polling firm, a New Hampshire survey released on Friday, July 14th, showed Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie essentially tied, with 10.5% and 10.0% respectively. President Trump was at 47.5%.


According to ABC News:


- DeSantis' early struggles to catch President Trump have led some of the Florida governor's major donors to privately question his viability as a presidential candidate while Trump is still in the race, as multiple sources have told ABC News.


- Sources have also indicated that some top donors who had planned to support DeSantis have started exploring other primary candidates, including meeting with individuals like Chris Christie, Senator Tim Scott, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.


As if that were not enough, the full extent of disorganization within the DeSantis campaign is now coming to light after public filings revealed that the campaign is spending unsustainably on a bloated payroll and not raising sufficient funds necessary for a long-term campaign.


NBC News summarized it well:


- "The numbers suggest, for the first time, that solvency could be a threat to DeSantis' campaign, which has touted its fundraising ability as a key measure of viability. They reflect the broader reality that DeSantis stalled after his launch, polling ahead of the Republican primary pack but far behind former President Donald Trump."


The New York Times also raised a point:


- "As a fuller financial picture of the 2024 presidential race emerged with Saturday's    campaign filing deadline, trouble appeared to lurk below the surface for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida." 


- "Mr. DeSantis is spending hand over fist, and his dependence on large donors suggests a  lack of grassroots support."


If the campaign has not demonstrated sufficient enthusiasm to build a national fundraising base who is motivated to contribute, how can they effectively implement what they call a "long slog strategy"?


The answer is simple: They can't.


With the DeSantis campaign arm, Never (Always) Back Down, knocking on thousands of doors in the scorching summer of Nevada and South Carolina with out-of-state and unmotivated door knockers, there are not many positives to highlight.


As investors, you undoubtedly have some questions, and here are a few that should be raised:


- What exactly are the 93 individuals on the campaign payroll doing? 


- Can you provide assurance to SuperPAC donors that Jeff Roe is not claiming $0.68 for each dollar spent, as his private investment information suggests? 


- What is the campaign's expenditure breakdown, and can you provide the return on investment for direct mail and online fundraising operations?


- Despite the SuperPAC and affiliated organizations like the Club for No Growth and Koch Brothers operations spending tens of millions of dollars to prop up Ron DeSantis while attacking President Trump, the numbers have not budged. In fact, they have moved in favor of President Trump. What is the campaign's plan to change this trajectory?


- If the Corporate Media is responsible, as the Governor has stated, for the polling collapse (not Republican voters), why seek attention from Jake Tapper?


- The SuperPAC's pollster, who is spending millions of dollars of your money, often highlights the Governor's high favorability rating. However, people are still widely supporting President Donald Trump. Isn't that a problem? 


- How much has the campaign and SuperPAC spent on unmotivated door knockers?


- Even Governor DeSantis is now admitting his post-midterm polling numbers were a “sugar high.” Were you as donors aware that the Governor and his team thought this? 


Of course, if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath expecting any answers or accountability. Given the aforementioned points, if you still collectively pour millions of dollars into the failing Ron DeSantis campaign, you can't say you weren't warned.