Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign is undergoing a reset, with the Never Back Down PAC taking the lead in grassroots efforts in Iowa. DeSantis’ campaign manager, Generra Peck, reportedly acknowledged that the previous campaign had spent too much on an “ineffective” strategy. Now, they are shifting to an “insurgent” effort in Iowa, teaming up with the well-funded Never Back Down PAC, which has more than $100 million at its disposal.
The Never Back Down PAC, while not allowed to coordinate with official campaigns, is taking its own initiative to support DeSantis. They currently have 21 full-time staff in Iowa, with plans to expand further. The PAC aims to amplify the governor’s message through door-knocking, securing caucus commitments, and hosting events for him to participate in.
DeSantis has pledged to undertake a comprehensive tour through all 99 counties in Iowa, known as the “full Grassley” tour. The Never Back Down PAC’s efforts will coincide with DeSantis joining the tour on Thursday.
This campaign reset comes as some DeSantis supporters, including anti-Trump Fox executives Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, express frustration over the lack of momentum against former President Donald Trump in polls and public perception.
Recent polling indicates that Trump is polling significantly stronger than he was in the final 2016 GOP primary polls. Additionally, a Trump campaign pollster reported a 30-point lead for Trump and noted that Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is closing in on DeSantis in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
When asked for comment, the DeSantis campaign pointed to a campaign memo that addressed The Washington Post’s coverage of Trump’s PAC receiving substantial funds to help fund his legal defense against various challenges.