Following staff layoffs and a campaign shakeup, presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now lost his biggest donor.
The donor, one of the most prominent people backing DeSantis’s campaign, spoke publicly to reporters about his decision.
Robert Bigelow, founder of Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace, told Reuters that he spoke to DeSantis’s campaign directly about shifting to more moderate positions.
“He’ll lose if he doesn’t,” he said, referring to DeSantis’s attempt to take on former President Donald Trump. “Extremism isn’t going to get you elected.”
He said his funding would not resume for the campaign “until I see that he’s able to generate more on his own.”
“I’m already too big a percentage,” Bigelow claimed. “A lot of his donors are still on the fence.”
When asked to identify the issues that ultimately led to his decision, Bigelow cited some of DeSantis’s “extreme positions” on various policy issues, including the six-week abortion banned passed in Florida in April.
Bigelow specifically called out the window as being too short and before many women realize they are pregnant.
However, in the same interview, Bigelow said he remains convinced DeSantis is “the best guy for the country”.
Bigelow is the campaign’s largest individual donor, giving over $20 million to the Never Back Down pro-DeSantis super PAC.
Rough Stretch for DeSantis Drags On
Despite attempts to reassure donors and supporters over the past month, DeSantis’s campaign has gone through major changes.
He reportedly faces a cash crunch despite support from major donors and recently laid off a third of his campaign staff.
His team said the cuts were an effort to “streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary”, but polls show him down double digits to former President Trump.
Even in the early states he is said to be focusing on, the latest polls show Trump ahead of DeSantis by a full 24 points.