Wealthy Republican Donors Turn Attention To Tim Scott As Ron DeSantis Fails To Gain Traction
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) recent plummet in the polls has sparked some wealthy donors, who are hoping for an alternative Republican nominee to Donald Trump, to consider backing Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) instead.
When he first announced his bid for the 2024 presidential race, DeSantis was the only candidate who seemed to have a chance at challenging Trump in the primaries. His political background and strong conservative credentials separated him from the rest of the crowded GOP field, and anti-Trump Republicans believed that, with enough support, he could defeat the former president.
However, the Florida governor has made some poor campaign decisions in recent weeks, such as releasing a homophobic advertisement that drew criticism from many Republican LGBTQ organizations and officials. His extremist stances are somewhat reminiscent of Trump’s, leaving voters to fear that history may repeat itself.
Several high-profile donors are beginning to turn their attention to Scott, a more traditional Republican who has already reached the donor threshold to qualify for the first Republican National Committee debate in August.
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Ronald Lauder, the heir to the Estee Lauder makeup fortune who supported Trump in 2020, recently visited Scott in South Carolina. During their hour-long discussion, the men discussed Scott’s campaign and plans for the future.
Lauder donated $20,000 to DeSantis’ campaign for governor in 2018 and $10,000 to a super PAC supporting his reelection last year. The billionaire is now considering backing Scott, whom he plans to meet again with before deciding to write him a check.
Scott has also piqued the interest of metal mogul Andy Sabin, who originally backed DeSantis but has since donated the maximum amount to Scott’s campaign. Sabin plans on hosting a fundraiser for Scott next month at his home in the Hamptons.
Despite increasing popularity, Scott and his fellow Republican candidates still have a lot of work to do before they take on Trump. The former president’s joint fundraising committee has raised more than $35 million in the second quarter, followed by DeSantis’ $20 million. Scott’s campaign only raised $6.1 million in the quarter ending June 30.
To increase donations and advance in the polls, Scott must continue to gain traction amongst wealthy donors who have the means to propel him to the front of the race.
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