Ron DeSantis raises $8.2 million in first 24 hours after launching presidential campaign

miami – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has raised a record $8.2 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his 2024 presidential campaign, as he barrels toward an expensive and combative primary led by former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis’ campaign confirmed that the amount included online donations and money raised by fundraisers at a rally in Miami. The error of how much each method was extended is not clear.

DeSantis’ $8.2 million haul surpassed President Biden’s $6.3 million in fundraising on the first day of his 2020 campaign, and Trump’s $9.5 million in the first six months of his 2024 campaign. Left behind.

Only South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who had more than $22 million. In his Senate re-election account as he transitioned it into his presidential campaign, starting his White House bid with more “hard” dollars — or money raised under federal fundraising limits.

Republican groups have already spent more than $36 million on ads for the 2024 race, according to data from AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm.

In Miami on Thursday, DeSantis “bundlers,” or fundraisers who can raise money from a network of contacts, asked donors for a maximum federal donation of $3,300 to use during the primary election, and A maximum donation of the same amount for general elections. , for a total of $6,600. Donors can also make maximum pledges through the DeSantis campaign website, though it’s mostly expected to help raise smaller funds.

In an email, Joe Lonsdale, founder of the venture capital firm 8VC, wrote that “while we know there are other good people running,” he believes DeSantis has “primary and The primary is the best chance to win both the general election — and the best record and skills to serve our country as president.”

According to an email obtained by CBS News, “These direct campaign dollars will help build momentum in this phase, report good numbers early, and accelerate the ground game in key states like Iowa and South Carolina.” are very important.”

A super PAC supporting DeSantis’ run, Never Back Down, is projected to have a budget of $200 million, with $100 million dedicated to voter turnout and the ground game. The PAC says it has already started door-knocking in Iowa and New Hampshire this week.

“Governor DeSantis has built the strongest, most sophisticated organization in the history of American politics, and the overwhelming support we’ve received in the last 24 hours will be critical as we push Governor DeSantis forward in the early nominating states. will take the field to participate. The plan is to revive the American spirit,” DeSantis campaign manager Genera Peck wrote in a statement.

Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC supporting Trump, said DeSantis “hasn’t been able to raise enough money to start his campaign.”

“His record of targeting senior benefits, willingness to raise taxes, and blocking funding for a border wall make this campaign dead on arrival. No amount of money will change that,” PAC. Spokesman Alex Pfeiffer wrote.

A gathering of DeSantis fundraisers and donors this week at the Four Seasons Resort in Miami, known as the “Ron-O-Rama,” kicked off with a reception Wednesday when the governor Launch beset with technical difficulties With its owner Elon Musk on Twitter’s audio platform.

Participants said there was a sense of confusion during the 20-minute delay, but the atmosphere changed when the second “Twitter Spaces” conversation began.

“Once they left, once we got past the 100,000 people in the waiting room that Twitter crashed, which is a fun moment, people were pretty excited,” said Brandon Rosner, a bundle from Milwaukee. ” 2020 campaigns.

The DeSantis campaign announced Wednesday that it had raised $1 million in donations within the first hour of launch.

As the donor gathering began, the campaign had hoped to raise between $8 and $10 million in pledges within the first 24 hours after its announcement bid, two sources said.

Thursday began with a political briefing by senior DeSantis campaign officials, where they laid out his path to victory in the first four presidential primary states, focusing especially on Iowa and New Hampshire, the three in the room. According to the participants. The offer

The presentation emphasized how active the DeSantis campaign will be in early states, from events to fundraising, and included internal polling on favorable ratings for DeSantis and Trump in four early states, including Iowa has a big lead. New Hampshire.

Senior officials argue that the race for the GOP nomination is essentially a “two-man” race between DeSantis and Trump, dismissing national polls of the race as “flat.”

“When is the national primary?” A bundler said dismissively to a senior staff member.

“Pitch is what he’s done in Florida that he wants to bring to the rest of the country,” said Chuck Volpe, a DeSaints supporter from Pennsylvania. “The sight of his spectacular re-election results, even flipping Miami-Dade County, which has voted forever. [a Democrat]Clearly this is part of their pitch. That he is electable and former President Trump is not.”

CBS News has reached out to the DeSant campaign to confirm details on the senior official briefing.

The gathering concluded Thursday evening with an appearance by DeSantis and his wife, Casey DeSantis, where they thanked the bundlers and, according to one attendee, the largest fundraiser for California’s bundlers ever. Blessed to be.

“It’s exciting,” said Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist, a Florida business owner and first-time presidential bundler, who raised $8.2 million on the first day.

“I voted for Trump, but he wasn’t able to keep his mouth shut when he needed to, and that was very unfortunate,” he added. “I just think that when you elect this president, you need to be able to see him through an eight-year term … what you really have to look at is down the road, what’s going to happen for our nation. is better.”

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