- Democrat messaging attacking DeSantis on so-called “culture war” issues has backfired
- DeSantis raked in a stunning $11.5 million in campaign cash last week
- A Democrat polling firm found that the “Don’t Say Gay” rhetoric was losing by a 32 point margin vs. DeSantis’s parental rights message
- DeSantis is making a fundraising swing to Utah this week to meet with wealthy GOP donors
Starting with a change of course near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuing through a tumultuous 2022 legislative session that saw Governor Ron DeSantis become a household name over his stance on parental rights, his sometimes brash and always stoic messaging strategy is starting to pay big dividends.
During the first week of July, campaign records show, DeSantis netted more than $11.5 million in combined contributions to his campaign account and political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis. A single donation of $10 million came from a Nevada aerospace and hotel executive, Robert T. Bigelow.
Meanwhile, Democrats are sounding alarm bells warning of DeSantis’s growing strength – not just because he’s amassed an incredible $130 million with more than a month to go before the 2022 general election actually begins, but also because of the startling relevation to Democrats that DeSantis is winning the messaging war against Democrats when it comes to education policy. A Democrat polling firm found that DeSantis’s rhetoric focusing on “critical race theory” and parental rights relating to gender identity and sexuality curriculum easily trumped the Democrat efforts to characterize the policies as “don’t say gay.”
One question from the survey revealed 56 percent of voters say they were more likely to vote for candidates who believe public schools should focus less on teaching race and more on core subjects – while only 24 percent say they would be less likely – a home run for DeSantis who has championed his Stop WOKE education policy. On a similar question with a direct correlation to DeSantis’s parental rights in education bill, 54 percent of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who took that position, compared to 27 percent who would be less likely to vote.
The survey results underscored the idea that the more Democrats fight DeSantis on culture war issues, the more they hurt themselves in the general election. That, in turn, has strengthened DeSantis’s national appeal, as his fundraising demonstrates.
In addition to the $10 million donation from Bigelow, other contributions to the DeSantis this month include $300,000 from Edward DeBartolo Jr., a Tampa real-estate developer and former owner of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. The big haul for DeSantis came ahead of another planned fundraising trip slated for this week. According to NBC News, DeSantis is slated to swing through Utah for a private fundraiser with some of the wealthiest Republican donors in the country.