Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has been losing ground. Former President Donald Trump has emerged as the clear-cut GOP frontrunner despite being indicted on federal charges relating to the handling of classified documents. Sensing a loss of momentum, and fearing the fundraising ramifications, team DeSantis sent a “confidential” memo to quell the concerns of donors.
“DeSantis increasingly has been confronted by interviewers about his low poll numbers, and publicly has shrugged off the idea that his campaign is in trouble. Yet the need for the memo indicates that some DeSantis supporters are worried,” USA Today reported.
The memo, which NBC News first reported, was labeled as a “confidential friends and family update” “not for distribution.”
According to USA Today, here are the three main takeaways from the memo on how he plans to win the GOP nomination and take on Donald Trump.
DeSantis Will Focus on Early States
The DeSantis campaign is going to put the Super Tuesday states on the backburner and instead focus heavily on early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire. We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall,” the memo states.
The plan makes sense. If DeSantis doesn’t do well in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, then Super Tuesday isn’t going to matter. Getting trounced early will scare off fundraisers and voters alike. Distributing resources broadly, across early states and Super Tuesday states, is not a luxury DeSantis currently has. He can worry about Super Tuesday if and once he gets through the early states.
DeSantis Will Focus on Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott is starting to attract donors and voters, potentially posing a major problem for a challenger like DeSantis who is deeply reliant on voters seeking an alternative to Trump.
“While Tim Scott has earned a serious look at this stage, his bio is lacking the fight that our electorate is looking for in the next President,” the memo states. “We expect Tim Scott to receive appropriate scrutiny in the weeks ahead.”
The memo also indicates that DeSantis does not take either the Mike Pence or Chris Christie campaigns seriously, stating that they “don’t feel remotely viable.”
And Trump? “Our campaign will make the contrast between Joe Biden and Ron DeSantis clear – but we won’t avoid Trump’s failings when asked. Our strategy? Question Asked, Question Answered, then on to how we beat Joe Biden,” the memo states.
Hints of More to Come
The memo states that DeSantis’ bio has not yet been fully explored and that moving forward, it will be a focal point of the campaign. Yeah, great. Yale, Harvard. Fantastic. The memo also points out that DeSantis opted not to sign up for a government pension while serving as a member of Congress.
Apparently, the governor will focus on “big, bold ideas that will get people talking,” which will lead to more “earned media,” which is an implicit knock at so-called corporate media.
“The earned media is the cake,” the memo states. “The paid media (early states and national conservative cable) is the icing and keeps the messaging points from earned media hits in the voter’s face.”
The memo also hinted at “more to come in the Fall of 2023…including woke military, the deep state, school choice and beyond.”
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.