Ron DeSantis has raised $8.2 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, his campaign team said Thursday, despite his disastrous campaign lunch on Twitter.
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 with a messy announcement on Wednesday night, when the Florida governor joined Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces — the app’s live audio streaming feature.
However, the stream lagged and crashed repeatedly, making it difficult for most users to hear the announcement in real time.
However, it appears this hasn’t slowed his campaigning or dampened supporters’ enthusiasm, as donors reportedly raised $1 million in just one hour.
Ron DeSantis officially kicked off his campaign with a messy announcement via Twitter on Wednesday night. The Governor of Florida is seen in Orlando on May 20, 2023
DeSantis’ stream was lagging and crashing repeatedly, making it difficult for most users to hear the announcement in real-time
DeSantis kicked off his campaign with a chaotic announcement via Twitter as the Florida governor joined Elon Musk (pictured) on Spaces – the app’s live audio streaming feature
DeSantis’ early campaign funding also benefits President Biden, who raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after his candidacy was first announced in 2019, as well as the $6.1 million raised by the former Texan Congressman Beto O’Rourke has collected.
This is also double the funding Trump’s campaign raised in the same period after his criminal indictment in March of this year.
The $8.2 million in funding for the DeSantis campaign includes both online donations and donors who donated their money at the Ron-O-Rama campaign event in the Grand Ballroom at the Four Seasons in Miami.
It is not known how many donors have contributed to the campaign so far.
The substantial sum also does not include funding from the Pro-DeSantis Super PAC Never Back Down. Funds from the Super PAC can be transferred directly to the DeSantis campaign. It is not known how much money is in the Super PAC.
The influx of funds will now fund a demanding political schedule as DeSantis flies across the country to raise awareness.
The Republican governor on Thursday announced plans for a three-state blitz next week with at least a dozen stops.
DeSantis is expected to campaign in Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to New Hampshire on Thursday and South Carolina on Friday.
In a short video posted to Twitter Wednesday after the announcement, 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’s First Lady Casey DeSantis looks on October 31, 2018 in Estero, Florida
“We are fully focused on bringing Governor DeSantis’ forward-looking message on restoring America to every prospective voter in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” said campaign manager Generra Peck.
“Our campaign is committed to using the time to win these first nominating states.” “No one will work harder than Governor DeSantis to share his vision with the country — he’s only just begun to fight.”
DeSantis portrays himself as the only legitimate Republican rival in the GOP’s crowded primary ahead of former President Donald Trump, who has a huge lead in early polls and has a firm grip on a significant portion of the GOP’s passionate base.
The news comes despite a chaotic start to his campaign on Twitter.
The Florida governor ignored the chaotic start in a video clip following the Twitter event, saying he “broke the internet”.
Though the speech was a joke and it seemed like he was taking the crazy announcement lightly, DeSantis wasn’t smiling — though he did manage to pull a brief grimace at the end of his speech.
DeSantis poses with his family, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis and their three children, Madison, 5, Mason, 4, and Mamie, 2.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that he is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in this screenshot from a May 24, 2023 social media video
During his call with Musk, DeSantis touted his past experience dealing with COVID, delivered veiled digs at Donald Trump and vowed to undo “everything” President Biden did at the border.
He also attacked Disney, the NAACP travel ban to Florida and the Republican “culture of losing” in a campaign launched with Elon Musk plagued by glitches on Twitter Spaces.
The much-anticipated launch of his 2024 White House candidacy started 26 minutes late and crashed several times as hundreds of thousands of users tuned in to follow 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.’