Gov. Ron DeSantis has let go 38 staffers from his presidential campaign amid stagnant poll numbers, Breitbart reported. The Florida governor is floundering against former President Donald Trump and has failed to make a dent in his massive lead.
The DeSantis campaign had more than 90 employees as of June. Now Generra Peck, campaign manager for DeSantis, called this move to eliminate more than 40% of the staff "aggressive steps" done to "streamline operations" and boost the governor’s position in the polls.
"Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden,” Peck spun in her statement. "Gov. DeSantis is going to lead the Great American Comeback, and we’re ready to hit the ground running as we head into an important month of the campaign."
The campaign is facing a glaring problem as it has failed to secure small-donor contributions. Donald Trump Jr., whose father is far and away ahead of the governor, pounced on DeSantis at the Turning Point Action Conference earlier this month.
"You can create a lot of personality with social media influencers, as they have done for the last two years sort of de facto running against Trump," he said at the West Palm Beach event. "The reality is, in a Republican primary, like, eventually, you have to put that guy on the stage.
"And let’s just say, you know, once you get to know Ron DeSantis, you get to not like Ron DeSantis," the younger Trump added. He further called the DeSantis campaign a "Never Trump billionaire donor movement" that's propping up a relatively inexperienced politician.
"The people who you know, they say they’re for America, but you know, if they can get their widget for half a cent cheaper by getting it from China, that’s their guy," Donald Trump Jr. noted. "I think it’s pretty clear, as evidenced by the small-dollar donors — 15 percent of the entire take, right?" he pointed out.
"So it’s all the billionaires; that’s who wants that because they want a president they can control," Trump Jr. asserted. He claimed that it's a stark contrast to his father, who is not reliant on the deep pockets of wealthy political action committee donors.
"People point to the super PAC and say, 'Oh, the super PAC’s got all this money.' Ok, but his campaign burn rate is bad," Trump Jr. continued about DeSantis.
"And that’s bad because of the lack of small-dollar donors," he added. Put another way, Donald Trump Jr. said the lack of small donors "means 85 [percent] are these high-dollar donors, which means you haven’t built out the infrastructure for that small-dollar base."
The problems for DeSantis run deeper than donations, however. DeSantis is no match in popularity for Donald Trump, who is at 43% in the polls, while DeSantis has slipped to only 16%.
Moreover, a leaked memo from the DeSantis campaign, which was labeled "confidential friends and family update," outlined a plan suggesting DeSantis will overhaul his campaign strategy. "From what we can tell, pro-DeSantis efforts are currently and will continue to run a robust effort in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire that includes paid media and field," the memo stated.
It further explained that the campaign will not sink resources into Super Tuesday primary states even though it acknowledges it's "critically important" to do so. Rather, the DeSantis team will turn its attention to New Hampshire but will "revisit this investment in the Fall."
It's a bad sign that DeSantis is cutting down on staff and eliminating certain primaries from his focus. Meanwhile, Trump has remained popular and is going full steam ahead -- and that should worry the DeSantis team.