When it comes to campaign fundraisers, Ron DeSantis has been relegated to the “discount section” as his chances of winning the White House continue to fade, sources told On The Money.
The cost to attend the Florida governor’s July 20 fundraiser in the Hamptons has dropped to $3,300 per person – less than three weeks after the Republican hopeful on June 29 charged $6,600 a plate at the Yale Club in Manhattan, according to invitations reviewed by On The Money.
“Desantis is now in the discount section,” one source close to the campaign told On The Money.
“He seems to have lowered the entry fee to meet him, which is often a sign that he has already milked most of the ‘big money’ from New York.”
DeSantis’ odds have been falling since the conservative jumped into the 2024 race in May, according to the website PredictIt, which allows users to bet on candidates’ prospects.
As of Thursday, Predictt showed the auction price for a “share” in DeSantis to win the Republican nomination going for 18 cents – down from a high of 35 cents on June 9.
The share prices are effectively percentage bets, with bettors winning a dollar if their candidate wins.
“Because his betting odds have roughly [been] cut in half since he announced, his fundraiser price has [been] cut in half,” the source said.
Recent polls show him lagging far behind former President Donald Trump. The frontrunner has a fundraiser scheduled in North Carolina on July 21 that is charging $6,600 per person.
“DeSantis is funded by a couple of billionaires — his campaign is not grassroots,” one GOP operative told On The Money. “People see other options now – Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, Mike Pence are alternatives.”
One of those billionaires, Ken Griffin, appears to be moving away from DeSantis, according to a CNBC report which said the Citadel boss continues to “assess the field.”
Ramaswamy turned heads with a gimmicky approach to fundraising, offering donors a 10% commission on contributions they raise. Some critics labeled it a multilevel marketing scheme.
Meanwhile, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is giving $20 gift cards to anyone who donates to him.
“There’s a tone of desperation that as Trump is getting stronger and looking more inevitable, he is causing people to chase people with less to give just to stay alive and in sight,” a GOP insider said. “They’re just not a draw next to Trump, and that’s why they’re lowering the price of admission.”
One Democratic operative, meanwhile, expressed sympathy for Republicans in the Empire State looking to back a viable candidate who can regain the White House from Joe Biden..
“I feel sorry for New York Republicans because they don’t feel comfortable with DeSantis given his positions in Florida, they’ve all turned against Trump, Pence is too far right, so that leaves them with Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy,” one Democratic bundler said of the potential nominees.
“I’m willing to bet they really struggled to fill the DeSantis fundraiser out East.”
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