Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rising Republican star, has been careful not to nurture growing speculation that he will make a presidential bid in 2024. He has brushed off questions about his political ambitions, while the party’s presumptive front-runner, Donald Trump, repeatedly hints he will run again.
But there are signs that DeSantis could be preparing for a White House run even as he campaigns for another term as governor in November’s midterm elections.
A Reuters analysis of DeSantis’ social media ads shows he has dramatically expanded his out-of-state ads in recent months, an indicator, say some political analysts, that he may be laying the groundwork for a national campaign.
In the first three months of this year, political ads sent through DeSantis’ Facebook and Instagram pages were overwhelmingly concentrated in Florida, as one would expect from a man running for office in the state.
But by the April-June period, they were spread roughly evenly between Florida and the rest of the country, according to a Reuters analysis of regional spending data for social media ads compiled by New York University’s Cybersecurity for Democracy project.
DeSantis’ increase in out-of-state ads suggests a move toward building a nationwide network of supporters, said three Republican strategists, including Ron Bonjean, who was an adviser to former president Trump’s 2016 presidential transition team.
“It’s an important part of the campaign playbook and can help him build support quickly should he eventually throw his hat in the ring,” Bonjean said, adding that the timing matters as Trump could declare his candidacy “at any moment” and potentially dent DeSantis’ momentum.
DeSantis may, however, simply be using his national profile to seek a broader donor base for his re-election campaign, said Travis Ridout, an expert on campaign ads at Washington State University, although the Republican is a fundraising giant who has already built a $100-million plus war chest.
Dave Abrams, a senior adviser on DeSantis’ re-election campaign, did not comment on the ads, but said the governor was fully focused on “winning big” in Florida this November.
“We’ll let the self-described ‘experts’ do what they do best: pontificate endlessly,” he told Reuters.
Two sources close to DeSantis confirmed to Reuters he is building a national database of voter contact information.
Political campaigns in the United States use such data, collected from many sources, to create detailed profiles of voters to inform their strategies and tactics. Gathering data via social media was a key tool for Trump’s own 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. Any challenger would have to compete against his formidable database of small donors.
Social media ads often prompt supporters for their names, e-mail addresses and other information that campaigns can use for future fundraising appeals and invitations to rallies.
Should DeSantis launch a White House bid, he would be retracing the steps of past presidential candidates including U.S. Senator Corey Booker, a Democrat who boosted out-of-state social media ads ahead of the 2018 midterm elections before running for president in 2020, Ridout said.
Many of DeSantis’ recent ads were concentrated in swing states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina, with ad viewers asked to fill out surveys with questions like: “Are YOU feeling pain at the pump thanks to Joe Biden?”
Other ads ask for support to fight “the dishonest corporate media,” “woke corporations” and the left’s “socialist agenda.”
After clicking on an ad, users are directed to a DeSantis web page that asks for their opinion on the issue and contact information.
Compared to television, ads on social media are cheap for political campaigns. DeSantis spent only around $300,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads in the first half of 2022, according to the NYU data.
“Small-dollar donors are worth more than the money involved,” said Ohio-based Republican strategist Mark Weaver. “They can be volunteers and force multipliers of your message far outside of the borders of Florida.”
In contrast, the governors of the other biggest states – Republican Greg Abbott and Democrats Gavin Newsom of California and Kathy Hochul of New York – have overwhelmingly focused on their home states in social media ads this year.
To be sure, there are many bigger steps that American presidential hopefuls need to take before launching any White House campaign. Making a pilgrimage to early voting states in the nomination process, such as Iowa, is one of them. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, has already made the trip. DeSantis has not.
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.
Netflix is not in deep trouble. It's becoming a media company – CNN
City of Brandon – August 7th Media Release – City of Brandon –
For the last 24 hours:
Drinking in Public Leads to Multiple Criminal Charges:
At about 11:40 AM Saturday morning, it was reported that a male subject was acting bizarrely in and around the 700 block Rosser Ave. When located in the area, the 21 year-old was drinking an alcoholic beverage so was detained under the LGCCA. He was subsequently found to be in breach of multiple conditions of two separate Probation Orders. Search incident to arrest revealed a machete in his backpack. He disclosed taking an unknown quantity of unknown pills, so was released on appropriate police imposed conditions as he was receiving medical assessment and treatment. He is to appear in Court on October 3rd, facing one count of possessing a weapon and six counts of failing to comply with a Probation Order.
Break & Enters:
An unlocked attached residential garage on Falcon Crescent was entered overnight on Friday and tools were stolen. Some of those were recovered strewn across neighbouring property.
A resident in the 300 block 27th Street reported that the detached garage had been forcibly entered overnight Thursday – Friday. The complainant was unsure if anything had been stolen but the walk-through door frame had been damaged during the incident.
Theft With Threat:
At about 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon, it was reported that a resident in the 700 block 20th Street had been robbed of a bicycle approx. 20 minutes prior, while in his back yard. Police attended and spoke with the victim who related that an unknown male came into his back yard and stole an old bicycle of no value, and brandished a knife while doing so. The suspect left without further incident. The suspect was described as Indigenous in appearance, 6’5”, skinny, wearing a blue hoodie, black bandana and hat. The knife was pulled from the front right pants’ pocket.
A 28 year-old female was encountered in the 700 block 18th Street Saturday evening, with personal effects strewn about a business vestibule. A records query revealed a warrant for arrest for failing to comply with a Probation Order. She was arrested and released on scene with a court date of October 3rd.
Just before midnight Saturday night, Brandon RCMP advised having a 51 year-old male in custody on the strength of a BPS held warrant for arrest for sexual assault. RCMP had attended to a complaint in Glenboro and encountered the accused. He is held in custody and will appear before the court later today.
Motor Vehicle Collision With Injuries:
At 11:15 PM Saturday night, 911 reported a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Crescent. Two occupants were stuck in a vehicle that had rolled over onto its’ side. The investigation revealed that the driver of the rolled vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign. That driver was transported to BRHC by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The second driver was uninjured.
Several people were detained from separate incidents, for their own safety or to prevent a breach of the peace, due to their level of intoxication. They will be held in custody until sober enough to care for themselves.
RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:
A/Staff Sergeant Dallas Lockhart, #101
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
Social Media Buzz: Taiwan, Indiana Abortion Ban, Kim and Pete – Bloomberg
Investment industry faces widening skills gap around big data and ESG – The Globe and Mail
Many federal government employees balking at returning to offices – CBC News
UK's government investment fund largely backed 'zombie businesses' – Financial Times
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
News22 hours ago
South Korea embarks on its first mission to the moon
Sports9 hours ago
Rafael Nadal announces he will not be playing at the Canadian Open
Art8 hours ago
Nanaimo lawn bowler turns sport's 'bowls' into art | CTV News – CTV News VI
Sports18 hours ago
Canada beats Sweden to claim gold in Hlinka Gretzky Cup – Sportsnet.ca
Economy16 hours ago
Charting the Global Economy: Job Growth in US Powers Ahead – BNN
Art20 hours ago
Graffiti Jam at mural festival celebrates street art, community – Vancouver Sun
Science22 hours ago
Watch Perseids meteor shower this weekend: Weather Network – CTV News
News18 hours ago
Canadian Blood Services urges donors to keep appointments as blood supplies reach new low – CBC.ca