Patterico's Pontifications

7/13/2023

DeSantis Campaign Now Reassuring Donors And Keeping An Eye On Sen. Tim Scott

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:23 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Things aren’t going quite as well as the DeSantis camp had hoped it would at this point in time:

A confidential campaign memo obtained by NBC News lays out what the Florida governor’s presidential campaign sees as its path forward: focusing on the early states, refusing to give up on New Hampshire, not yet investing in Super Tuesday battlegrounds, zeroing in on DeSantis’ biography and sowing doubts about his competitors — particularly Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire,” the memo states. “We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall.”

Across the DeSantis political universe, there is a heightened awareness of the importance of the early states and the reality that he will burn out without strong performances there…

With DeSantis seemingly stalled in the polls, there is a question about whether he will even be able to catch up to Trump. If the Florida governor’s numbers don’t improve, a change of strategy would become necessary:

“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.

Also, because of the low polling, wealthy donors are starting to look elsewhere:

With Ron DeSantis stalling in the Republican presidential primary, some wealthy donors who’d hoped he could beat Donald Trump are now giving Tim Scott a serious look. The meeting comes amid widespread angst among wealthy GOP backers about the emerging 2024 field, and DeSantis’ bumpy start in particular. Many high-dollar donors in Trump’s native New York City have tired of the former president and worry about his general election chances. But they say their faith in the Florida governor has been shaken by early campaign missteps and his hardline positions on abortion, transgender rights and other culture-war issues. They fear time is running out for anyone else to break through.

Now, several donors are starting to more seriously mull backing Scott — a more traditional Republican alternative to the populist and combative Trump and DeSantis.

Recently, Tim Scott met with a deep-pocket donor who went to South Carolina to talk to the candidate and see whether he would back him and cut him a check:

The meeting comes amid widespread angst among wealthy GOP backers about the emerging 2024 field, and DeSantis’ bumpy start in particular. Many high-dollar donors in Trump’s native New York City have tired of the former president and worry about his general election chances. But they say their faith in the Florida governor has been shaken by early campaign missteps and his hardline positions on abortion, transgender rights and other culture-war issues. They fear time is running out for anyone else to break through.

Now, several donors are starting to more seriously mull backing Scott — a more traditional Republican alternative to the populist and combative Trump and DeSantis…

“A lot of donors that I’ve met are all curious and want to meet Tim and see what he’s about,” said Andy Sabin, a metal mogul and Republican contributor. “He’s the one guy running who’s got some personality and charisma. His delivery is terrific.”

No wonder the DeSantis camp is going to be going after Scott. And it’s true that Scott has personality, charisma, and gives great speeches. Unfortunately, DeSantis does not possess any of those attributes. The first debate will be held on August 23rd. DeSantis doesn’t have much time to move the needle.

–Dana

GOP Candidates And The Debate Stage: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:52 am



[guest post by Dana]

Motivated to meet the RNC requirements and get on the debate stage:

Vivek Ramaswamy…is launching the “Vivek Kitchen Cabinet,” a scheme that promises to pay participants 10 percent of any money they raise for his campaign. It’s the latest attention-grabbing initiative by the longshot candidate, highlighting the frantic race underway by 2024 GOP presidential contenders to build up their grassroots donor base to qualify for upcoming debates.

In Ramaswamy’s program, supporters will undergo a background check before being issued an affiliate link to share to raise money for the candidate, his general consultant, Ben Yoho, told POLITICO.

“He realized the type of money fundraisers make,” Yoho said. “He wants his supporters to have the same opportunity.”

The campaign intends to offer special incentives for top grassroots fundraisers, which advisers said could include personal calls from Ramaswamy, invitations to events and exclusive campaign merchandise. Participants, who will be paid monthly, will be considered independent contractors of Vivek 2024 and, as part of the program, must agree to pay applicable taxes.

And when you have essentially no national name recognition or presence and are desperate to raise your profile quickly, go big:

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is offering an unusual deal to donors: Anyone who sends a donation of at least $1 will get a $20 gift card in return.

The campaign’s offer is good for the first 50,000 donors — and is an unconventional bid to meet the fundraising thresholds required to be onstage for next month’s Republican primary debate…

The online donation process itself could expand Burgum’s base: When people donate, the campaign gleans their email and street addresses. Anyone who adds a phone number also agrees to receive phone calls and text messages.

As for what type of gift card is at stake, the campaign says donors “will actually get a Visa or Mastercard gift card to their mailing address.”

Even if you’re the mayor of a major city like Miami but voters outside of Florida don’t know who you are, why not have a free college giveaway:

It’s so cringe to see what are essentially unknown (outside of their state) Republican politicians this desperate to get on the debate stage, especially as we can confidently say that none of them will win the nomination. Of course, catching the eye of the would-be nominee is a play, I guess…

Anyway, this sounds about right:

[T]hey are responding to incentives. The RNC said that to qualify for the primary debates, candidates need to prove that they have 40,000 unique donors…Lesser-known candidates could try to pitch their vision for America to small-dollar donors — or they could promise free stuff. Free stuff is easier to sell.

These schemes are most likely legal. They’re just extremely embarrassing…[T]hese candidates aren’t even buying votes. They’re buying donors so that maybe they can have a chance to buy votes…

When the incentives are structured in such a way that successful conservative politicians feel the need to resort to stupid gimmicks when running for president, it’s yet another sign that something is deeply wrong with our primary-election system.

At this point, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie will be on the debate stage in August. Also, according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest polling, Trump leads with 52% support, followed by DeSantis with 21%. All other candidates continue to poll in single digits.

–Dana


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