Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who has been known for his significant contributions to Republican campaigns, recently stated that he has no immediate plans to donate to any GOP presidential primary candidates. This includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whom he had previously declared his support for. Griffin expressed his lack of interest in the current crop of candidates vying to unseat front-runner Donald Trump and mentioned his preference for younger candidates with fresh ideas, principles, and policies.
Griffin’s decision not to donate to any GOP primary candidates, especially someone like DeSantis, is a blow to those who were hoping to secure financial support from a man worth $35 billion. Griffin had previously expressed his admiration for DeSantis and had pledged his support if the Florida governor decided to run for president. However, it seems that Griffin is now questioning DeSantis’s strategy for the 2024 election.
DeSantis has faced a decline in popularity in recent months, with Trump maintaining a strong lead among Republican primary and caucus voters. This decline has been reflected in polling data, indicating that DeSantis has lost ground while Trump’s support remains strong. Additionally, other top contributors to DeSantis’s 2022 reelection campaign have also withdrawn their support and backed other candidates. This includes former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, who is now supporting former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign.
Furthermore, DeSantis has been facing additional challenges in recent weeks. The Florida Republican Party decided not to require presidential primary candidates to pledge their support to the eventual nominee. This decision means that Trump can appear on the ballot in DeSantis’s home state without signing a loyalty oath.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also took a swipe at DeSantis, suggesting that Trump is a stronger candidate than him. McCarthy noted that Trump’s popularity has only increased since the 2016 and 2020 elections, while DeSantis has not reached the same level of influence. In response, DeSantis highlighted Florida’s budget surpluses compared to the substantial national debt accumulated during Trump’s time in office.
It’s evident that DeSantis is facing significant challenges in his bid for the presidency, with Trump garnering more high-profile endorsements and maintaining a solid lead in the polls. While Griffin’s decision not to donate to any GOP primary candidates may be disappointing news for DeSantis, it’s important to remember that political landscapes can change rapidly, and there is still a long way to go before the 2024 election.