The GOP Presidential race isn’t turning out like anyone thought.
Donald Trump is running away from the field.
And now this prediction about Donald Trump just came back to bite Ron DeSantis.
Establishment Republican strategist Jeff Roe is in charge of the Pro-DeSantis Super PAC Never Back Down.
Never Back Down raised a record $132 million, with $82 million coming from funds leftover from DeSantis’ reelection campaign, before DeSantis announced his candidacy.
DeSantis tapped Roe, who managed Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 Presidential campaign, to head the PAC.
But Roe became a lightning rod for controversy as DeSantis’ fundraising faltered and Never Back Down essentially became the campaign.
As Donald Trump began to pull away in the polls, Roe’s strategy of “Make America Florida” came under scrutiny from donors and conservative activists.
Roe also committed a gaffe that threatens to be the final pile of dirt on the grave of the DeSantis campaign.
The New York Times reported that on September 27, Roe met with establishment-aligned big-money donors and said Never Back Down needed to raise an additional $50 million.
“Now let me tell you a secret — don’t leak this,” Roe told donors, according to an audio recording obtained by the Times. “We need to do this now. We’re making a move now.”
Roe explained the money was for a new TV ad blitz.
“The day after Labor Day we’re launching, and we need your help to stay up and go hard the rest of the way. We need 50 million bucks,” Roe added.
Roe said DeSantis only had “the next 60 days” to stop Trump from wrapping up the GOP nomination.
On September 27, the Real Clear Politics polling average showed Trump holding a 56.6 to 14.4 lead over DeSantis.
60 days later, Trump’s lead grew to 59.1 to 12.6.
Reporters asked DeSantis about falling ever further behind Trump at the end of Roe’s self-imposed 60-day deadline to turn the election around.
DeSantis disavowed Roe even though the Florida Governor personally hired Roe to run Never Back Down.
“He’s not my adviser, and they do what they want to do. I think that that’s fine. I don’t think very many people think that that was a very smart thing to do with whatever was going on with that,” DeSantis told the press. “I can tell you that had nothing to do with anything I’ve done with any of the debates. We go in and let it rip.”
The Trump campaign delighted in mocking DeSantis over the failed prediction about re-setting the race.
In honor of the DeSantis campaign going six feet under…. pic.twitter.com/WZUvfCL6LL
— Steven Cheung (@TheStevenCheung) October 24, 2023
Once Democrats began indicting Donald Trump, the GOP race effectively ended.
DeSantis only trailed Trump by double digits in March 2023.
But once the Democrat prosecutors began hitting Trump with politically motivated indictments, Republican voters rallied around Trump, and Trump’s lead has only continued to grow.