Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ shadow campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination took a major hit this weekend when billionaire Thomas Peterffy, who backed former President Donald Trump in his 2016 victory, signaled that big GOP money is shifting away from DeSantis.
“I have put myself on hold,” Peterffy said regarding his current choice for the GOP nomination, after previously hinting that he would support the governor.
“I am more reluctant to back him. We are waiting to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the general, and then put all of our firepower behind them.”
The Gateway Pundit reports:
His primary polling numbers have completely cratered following brutal attacks on his record and questionable statements on President Donald Trump’s indictment on bogus “financial fraud” charges. The latest numbers show Trump opening up a 31-point lead over DeSantis.
We reported a few weeks ago that some donors were thinking DeSantis should sit this one out – referring to the 2024 Presidential Election – and now, would-be donors are bailing on DeSantis when he is in dire need of financial assistance for a presidential campaign.
As the Daily Mail reported, Hungarian-born billionaire Thomas Peterffy announced he and his friends are were “keeping their powder dry” on a likely White House run by the Florida governor. Peterffy previously said he was looking forward to backing DeSantis for President.
I have put myself on hold.
I am more reluctant to back him. We are waiting to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the general, and then put all of our firepower behind them.
Peterffy, who has an estimated net worth of $26 billion, has long been a top Republican donor. In 2022, he gave $7.7 million to individual Republican campaigns and conservative political action committees according to Open Secrets.
The billionaire revealed that his change of heart was due to DeSantis signing a six-week abortion ban into law. He views the new law as too extreme.
Peterffy also said he had a problem with the Florida governor barring adult-oriented LGBTQ books from public schools.
DeSantis simply could not afford this setback. While he has raised over $110 million, roughly $80 million is tied to Florida and cannot be used in a presidential campaign according to The Daily Mail.
Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, brought in over $15 million in the last two weeks following his indictment over bogus hush money charges.
Unless he can win over billionaires like Peterffy, DeSantis will be at a massive financial disadvantage versus the former president, making it nearly impossible to close the polling gap. He simply does not have the pull with small-money donors that Trump has.