Ron DeSantis has raised $8.2 million in the first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, his campaign announced Thursday, despite his disastrous Twitter campaign luncheon.
The massive sum cements his position as former President Donald Trump’s main rival for the Republican nomination, and far exceeds the amount raised by President Joe Biden over the same period.
DeSantis officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday night in a chaotic announcement when the Florida governor joined Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces – the app’s live audio streaming feature.
But the stream was repeatedly delayed and crashed, which made it difficult for most users to hear the announcement in real time.
However, it appears that hasn’t slowed his campaign or dampened the enthusiasm of his supporters, as they say donors raised $1 million in a single hour.
Ron DeSantis officially launched his campaign Wednesday night in a chaotic announcement on Twitter. The Governor of Florida is seen speaking in Orlando, May 20, 2023
DeSantis’ stream was repeatedly delayed and crashed, making it difficult for most viewers to hear the announcement in real time
DeSantis kicked off his campaign in a chaotic Twitter announcement when the Florida governor joined Elon Musk (pictured) on Spaces – the app’s live audio streaming feature
Funding for DeSantis’ first campaign also draws President Biden who managed to raise $6.3 million in his first 24 hours after initially announcing his candidacy in 2019, and the $6.1 million raised by former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke.
It is also double the funding raised by Trump’s campaign in the same period after his criminal indictment in March earlier this year.
The $8.2 million funding for the DeSantis campaign includes both online contributions and donors who gave their money at the ‘Ron-O-Rama’ campaign event in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons, Miami.
It is unclear how many donors have contributed to the campaign so far.
The substantial total also does not include funding secured by the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down super PAC. Funding from the super PAC can be directly transferred to DeSantis’ campaign. It is unclear how much money is in the super PAC.
The influx of funding will now fund a demanding political calendar as DeSantis flies across the country to gain recognition.
The Republican governor on Thursday announced plans for a three-state blitz next week with at least a dozen stoppages.
DeSantis is scheduled to campaign Tuesday and Wednesday in Iowa before a trip to New Hampshire on Thursday and South Carolina on Friday.
In a short video posted Wednesday after the announcement on Twitter, DeSantis joked — with a straight face — that he “broke the internet.”
DeSantis is considered Trump’s main competitor. Pictured: Trump shakes hands with DeSantis as Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis looks on, Estero, Florida October 31, 2018
“We are focused on Governor DeSantis’ forward-thinking message to restore America to every potential voter in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” campaign manager Generra Peck said.
“Our campaign is committed to devoting time to winning these early candidate states. No one will work harder than Governor DeSantis to share his vision with the country – he’s only just begun to fight.
DeSantis stands as the only legitimate Republican rival in the crowded GOP primary to former President Donald Trump, who holds a big lead in early polls as well as a firm grip on a sizable portion of the GOP’s passionate base.
The news comes despite a bumpy start to his Twitter campaign.
The Florida governor ignored the chaotic start in a follow-up video clip after the event on Twitter, saying he “broke the internet.”
While the delivery was a joke and seemed to make light of the whack ad, DeSantis didn’t smile — though he managed a brief grimace as he finished his speech.
DeSantis poses with his family, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis and their three children, Madison, 5, Mason, 4, and Grandma, 2
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces he is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in this screenshot from a social media video posted May 24, 2023
During his chat with Musk, DeSantis touted his COVID record, taking veiled jabs at Donald Trump and promising to reverse “everything” President Biden was doing on the border.
He also attacked Disney, the NAACP’s Florida travel ban and the GOP’s “culture of loss” in a campaign launched with Elon Musk plagued by glitches on Twitter Spaces.
The highly anticipated start of his 2024 White House run started 26 minutes late and crashed multiple times as hundreds of thousands tuned in to listen to DeSantis’ conversation with the Twitter CEO .
“I’m running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said. “But we know our country is going in the wrong direction. We see it with our own eyes. And we feel it in our bones.