Team DeSantis Focused on Creating Astroturf Attendance for 2024 Campaign Rallies

Posted originally on the CTH on April 10, 2023 | Sundance

As team Ron DeSantis prepares for the national launch of a 2024 presidential bid, one of the campaign’s primary areas of concern is the need to create optics representing support and momentum.

As noted by comments delivered to the Washington Post by DeSantis PAC organizers:

[…] DeSantis allies are acutely aware of Trump’s still-strong influence and appeal in the Republican Party. A senior member of Never Back Down has said the group will be heavily involved in building crowds for DeSantis, in part because of Trump’s fixation on crowd size and the expectation that a front-runner candidate draws big audiences, according to a person familiar with the comments.

“If you’re DeSantis, you have to desperately avoid the small room with Jeb Bush asking attendees to please clap,” the person said, referencing a viral moment from Bush’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2016. (read more)

The last several weeks have been very rough for team DeSantis as noted by Politico:

[…] On the same day Trump was indicted in an alleged hush money scheme, the Florida governor was posing with puppies at a pet adoption event as his aides instructed reporters to leave.

“This is deja vu all over again,” said Terry Sullivan, who ran Marco Rubio’s 2016 campaign for president. “Trump dominates media coverage, making it impossible for his competitors to get any coverage or forward traction.”

The Republican presidential primary was always expected to revolve around Trump. But post-indictment, as Republicans rally to his defense — including, crucially, conservative talkers on Fox News — Trump’s opponents are confronting an even more damaging dynamic in race: Their inability to break through at all.

“It feels like fucking 2016,” said a Republican strategist who supports DeSantis and was granted anonymity to speak freely about the dynamics of the race. “Is there anything that can suck up as much political oxygen in the American political landscape as Trump? I don’t think so.” (read more)

FLORIDA – Former president Donald Trump is now leading Florida governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical 2024 head-to-head matchup among likely Republican voters in the Sunshine State, according to a new poll from Victory Insights.

The survey shows Trump winning support from 46.6 percent of likely voters, while DeSantis notched support from 31.8 percent of voters. Another 21.6 percent of likely voters said they are undecided. The results mean Trump has enjoyed a 25.7 point swing in his favor since Victory Insights conducted a similar poll in November, when Trump formally announced his campaign and DeSantis was riding high from a landslide reelection win. At the time, polling showed DeSantis with a 10.9-point lead over Trump in Florida.

“Five months later, things have changed substantially,” Victory Insights senior pollster Ben Galbraith said in a statement. “Several other candidates have announced their candidacies, and Trump has been indicted and arrested in a highly politicized move by the Manhattan DA. DeSantis still hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, but his messaging, book tour, and PAC activity certainly point to a presidential run in the coming months.” (more)

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