DeSantis Never Back Down PAC backs down in Iowa and New Hampshire

 December 25, 2023

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to struggle in his presidential campaign, and now his Never Back Down superPAC is, well, backing down in Iowa and New Hampshire by pulling out of ad buys there less than a month before primary voting there. 

“Pro-Ron DeSantis group Never Back Down is canceling all of its 2024 reservations in Iowa and New Hampshire,” AdImpact posted on X on Friday.

The cancellations add up to $2.5 million so far, the organization claimed.

Has DeSantis given up?

Pulling ads from the first two primary states this close to voting signals that DeSantis has given up on winning them or even improving his showing there, which may benefit him in other states.

DeSantis is close to fifth place in New Hampshire according to polling in that state, behind former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Vivek Ramaswamy is less than a point behind him.

In most other states, DeSantis has a shrinking second-place standing. His poll numbers continue to drop overall, while Haley's are rising.

The Never Back Down PAC has had multiple departures recently, including  Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt who was the chair, Chris Jankowski as chief executive, Erin Perrine, the PAC’s communications director, and strategist Jeff Roe.

Janowski said upon his departure, “Given the current environment it has become untenable for me to deliver on the shared goal and that goes well beyond a difference of strategic opinion.”

Roe said, “I can’t believe it ended this way. I’m so proud to have worked alongside these men and women at NBD 24/7 the past nine months to save the country. Good luck the next 28 days and a wake up. I’m so sorry I can’t be there with you.”

Not much of a chance

It's becoming pretty clear that DeSantis won't win the GOP nomination at this point, and may be eclipsed by Haley in second place before too many states get to vote.

Both Haley and DeSantis are miles behind Trump, who has a 30 to 40-point primary lead on all other candidates.

With all of Trump's legal challenges, something could still happen to make his candidacy untenable, but his base will be hypervigilant if anyone tries to remove him from candidacy in a way they consider partisan or unfair.

Trump faces lawsuits in several states to remove him from the ballot, and in Colorado the Supreme Court has ruled to do so citing the 14th Amendment about participating in an insurrection, even though the Senate acquitted him of doing so.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide Trump's fate as far as state ballots, but the fact that DeSantis and others' only chance is Trump getting kicked off the ballot is not a good sign.

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