In the third quarter, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential primary campaign demonstrated noteworthy financial activity, both in terms of fundraising and expenditures. This report delves into the details of these financial movements and their implications for the 2024 GOP primary.
During the past three months, the DeSantis campaign, along with the joint fundraising committee, Team DeSantis 2024, achieved a commendable feat by raising an impressive $15 million. This indicates substantial financial support from donors who believe in DeSantis’ candidacy.
However, the campaign’s success in fundraising was balanced by its expenditures. Over the same period, approximately $11 million was spent, as revealed in Federal Election Commission records. These expenditures are crucial to understanding the campaign’s financial health and strategy.
Cash on Hand
At the end of the quarter, the DeSantis campaign reported having slightly over $12 million in cash on hand, while the joint fundraising committee disclosed approximately $2 million in cash. These figures represent the campaign’s liquidity, which plays a pivotal role in sustaining its operations and strategy.
Despite DeSantis’ commendable fundraising, he faces significant competition within the GOP primary. Notably, former President Donald Trump, a frontrunner in the primary, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, another Republican contender, have amassed substantial financial support, outpacing DeSantis in this regard.
Adding to the campaign’s challenges is its polling performance. DeSantis trails Trump by nearly 50 percentage points in polls of likely primary voters, according to data from Morning Consult. Overcoming this deficit will require a strategic approach and effective use of campaign resources.
High Burn Rate
A noteworthy aspect of the campaign’s financial situation is its high burn rate in the last quarter. Despite implementing reductions in campaign staff, DeSantis continued to spend at a considerable rate. The $11 million in reported spending is roughly equivalent to the amount the DeSantis campaign raised during the same period, excluding contributions from the joint fundraising committee.
Of the $11 million spent, a significant portion, over $10 million, went towards operational expenses, reflecting the costs associated with running a presidential campaign. This includes just over $1 million allocated to travel-related expenses, indicating the extent of the campaign’s mobilization efforts.
Private Airfare Expenses
Additionally, the DeSantis campaign reported expenditures of at least $250,000 on private airfare. This expense underscores the necessity of efficient logistics and campaign travel, an integral aspect of modern political campaigns.
In summary, the DeSantis campaign’s financial report for the third quarter illustrates successful fundraising efforts, balanced by substantial expenditures. While the campaign retains a reasonable cash reserve, it faces formidable competition within the GOP primary and polling challenges. The high burn rate is a notable factor that necessitates strategic financial management moving forward.