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Billionaire Ken Griffin Abandons DeSantis Campaign, Says “I Don’t Know his Strategy,” Will Watch Presidential Primary From the Sidelines Instead



By Illinois Review

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to struggle on the presidential campaign trail as former President Donald Trump widens his lead in the polls and solidifies his support with the grassroots-base of the party – leading many early DeSantis supporters – including billionaire Ken Griffin to question the strategy of the governor’s campaign and the “voter base” he’s trying – but failing to appeal too.

“I don’t know his strategy. It’s not clear to me what voter base he is intending to appeal to,” said Citadel founder Ken Griffin in a recent interview with CNBC about the Florida governor’s campaign.

Griffin then concluded with, “I’m still on the sidelines as to who to support in this election cycle.”

But last Fall and Spring, Griffin was clear on who he would support for president – and that was Ron DeSantis.

Last November, Griffin granted an interview to Politico in an article titled, “GOP Megadonor: I’m ready to back DeSantis for president in ‘24,” where he said, “He has a tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president.”

Griffin is not the only billionaire megadonor to walk back their support of DeSantis’ presidential campaign.

Since the Florida governor’s rocky launch to his presidential campaign on Twitter last May that was plagued by glitches and audio issues, nearly half of his major donors have decided not to support his campaign – a big problem for a presidential candidate who many viewed last year as the presumptive frontrunner.

In a recent article in Forbes, it was revealed that 24 out of 50 of DeSantis’ major donors have opted not to donate to his presidential campaign – creating a major issue for the man considered by many to be the future of the Republican party.

A recent national poll has Trump leading DeSantis by 47 points; and Trump leading Biden by 4 points – creating a nightmare scenario for Democrats and the often dazed and confused current Commander-in-Chief.

President Trump is leading Gov. Ron DeSantis by 47 points.

But despite the DeSantis campaign falling further behind in the polls and major donors abandoning ship, some Illinois Republican Party officials – including Republican national committeeman Richard Porter and former gubernatorial candidate and state central committee member Jeanne Ives are still backing the Florida governor’s presidential campaign.

During a May 25th Facebook post, Porter wrote, “I am down in Miami helping DeSantis with his launch, and I am working the phones and emails to raise first day money for him — could you give today?”

During the 2022 primary, Porter was one of the architects of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s failed campaign for governor – serving as “honorary” co-chairman of Irvin’s campaign, where he remained a close advisor and confidante to the Aurora mayor. Irvin would lose to the grassroots candidate by 43 points.

In an interview at the Illinois GOP Day at the state fair in August, Porter spoke with the Chicago Tribune, where he sounded more like a Democrat than a Republican when discussing the candidacy of the 45th President of the United States.

“I think the most ardent Trumpers recognize that they might love him in their heart, but they know in their head he is not going to win independents in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada. And that’s what you need to do to become president. And if you don’t become president of the United States, Trump goes to jail.”

After this publication published a story and included his remarks at the state fair, Porter was in damage control – issuing Illinois Review a very wordy and lengthy response that was published in its entirety – trying to walk back his on-the-record comments to the Tribune.

State central committee member Jeanne Ives is also backing DeSantis – and during an interview in Crain’s Chicago Business on May 30th, Ives said and tweeted, “I’m a DeSantis fan…I like a strong governor with a proven record of accomplishments…Florida has, what, a $21 billion budget surplus…”

IL GOP leader Jeanne Ives was asked by Chicago reporter Greg Hinz who she supports in the 2024 presidential primary, and she said, “I’m a DeSantis fan.” (X/Breakthrough Ideas/Greg Hinz)

The Iowa Republican Presidential Primary Caucus will be held on January 15, 2024.


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