Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has fired roughly a dozen staffers — and more are expected in the coming weeks as he shakes up his big-money political operations after less than two months on the campaign trail.
Those who were let go were described to NBC News by a source familiar as mid-level staffers across several departments whose departures were related to cutting costs. The exits come after the departures of David Abrams and Tucker Obenshain, veterans of DeSantis’ political orbit, which were first reported by Politico.
Sources involved with the DeSantis campaign say there is an internal assessment among some that they hired too many staffers too early, and despite bringing in $20 million during its first six weeks, it was becoming clear their costs needed to be brought down. Some in DeSantis’ political orbit are laying the early blame at the feet of campaign manager Generra Peck, who also led DeSantis’ 2022 midterm reelection bid and is in the hot seat right now.
“She should be,” one DeSantis donor said.
“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” said one Republican source familiar with the campaign’s thought process. “People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it.”
“DeSantis stock isn’t rising,” the donor added. “Twenty percent is not what people signed up for.”
The person noted that DeSantis has a penchant for switching out staff, which means that he has no core team that has worked together before. DeSantis had three different campaign teams for each of his three runs for Congress, and notably had a huge campaign shakeup during his first run for governor in 2018.
Unlike traditional presidential field organizing — which is run by an official campaign and driven largely by volunteers — the Never Back Down effort is staffed with an army of paid workers, many of whom have responded to advertisements that offer positions for $20 to $22 an hour. Trained in Iowa during an eight-day class, some come out of the system with polished pitches, as true believers. Others are just there for a job.Giulia Carbonaro at Newsweek:
Paid canvassing is a method of voter contact that has proved effective in previous campaigns but requires significant supervision and can backfire if employees misbehave. There is no way to know how frequent the misfires are or whether they are detracting from the goals of DeSantis donors. In a few cases, residents at homes visited by canvassers, as sometimes happens with volunteer efforts, have reported being turned off by the dress of workers. Others have complained about door knockers from distant states coming to their neighborhood.
As Florida grapples with an unfolding property insurance crisis, recent data show that insurance premiums in the state have reportedly surged by over 200 percent since Ron DeSantis won the governor's office in 2018.
On average, Florida homeowners pay over $4,200 per year for home insurance, triple the national average of $1,700, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute (Triple I).
Insurance premiums have grown significantly since DeSantis won the gubernatorial race in late 2018, for a total of a 206 percent increase, as reported by Yahoo Finance—which makes them the highest in the entire country. In the last year alone, insurance premiums in the state surged by 42 percent.
The issue is likely to add pressure on DeSantis, now one of the many Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election, especially as Florida has recently seen several insurers leaving the state.