DeSantis Campaign Memo Reveals New Strategy To Catch Donald Trump

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign has a new strategy to bolster the governor’s movement in the 2024 GOP primaries and catch up to former President Donald Trump, according to a July 6 campaign memo obtained by NBC News.

Trump continues to lead DeSantis in both state and national polls, and the campaign memo labeled “Confidential Friends and Family Update” details the governor’s plans to shore up support in key early primary states, insisting a large swath of the electorate is still up for grabs. As DeSantis remains particularly focused on New Hampshire, the campaign intends to delay efforts in Super Tuesday states to the fall.

“Early state voters are only softly committed to the candidates they select on a ballot question this far out — including many Trump supporters,” the memo reads. “Our focus group participants in the early states even say they do not plan on making up their mind until they meet the candidates or watch them debate.”

The campaign will hold off on ramping up efforts in Super Tuesday states, when many will hold their primary election on March 5 next year, and insists DeSantis “will not cede New Hampshire,” the memo reads. (RELATED: Iowa State Sen Flips Endorsement To DeSantis After Trump Attacks Gov)

“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire,” the memo reads. “We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 08: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers remarks at a Nevada Republican volunteer recruiting event at Fervent. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While acknowledging that South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is a “serious” contender in the field, the DeSantis campaign argued “his bio is lacking the fight that our electorate is looking for,” the memo reads. In addition to criticizing Trump, the campaign said they’ve seen “low to no interest” in the candidacies of former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and argued voters won’t consider former Vice President Mike Pence or former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“While Trump is always the most efficient driver of his own negatives, there are numerous other persuasion narratives that can and should be exploited on him,” the memo reads. “Soft Trump voters and America First conservatives do not look kindly on Trumps record on guns, the deficit and spending, Transgenderism, ‘and his family’s his cozy relationship with the Saudi Royal Family.”

The former president currently leads DeSantis by double digits in all four key early primary states — in Iowa by 23 points, New Hampshire by 24 points, Nevada by 30 points and South Carolina by 23 points, according to FiveThirtyEight. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between June 13 and July 11, indicates Trump leads the governor 53% to 20.6%.

The memo was released the same day DeSantis’ campaign released its second quarter fundraising haul at $20 million since the governor entered the race in late May. Combined with Never Back Down, the super political action committee supporting DeSantis’ White House bid, the governor raked in a total of $150 million in his first quarter as a candidate.

“It should come as no surprise that our campaign will focus relentlessly on the early states while also building out an infrastructure to go the distance — and thanks to our generous supporters, we have the resources to do it all. We’re ready to win this marathon,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.

Trump did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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