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Donors frustrated at DeSantis’ inability to gain traction, take ‘hard look’ elsewhere for Trump alternative

Donors in GOP circles are growing increasingly concerned as no candidate has gained significant traction as the alternative to the front-runner, former President Trump, causing some to look at options other than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“There’s a lot of concern, hand-wringing, and significant conversations among the donor class regarding their frustrations as it relates to Gov. DeSantis and his ability to gain traction,” a veteran Republican strategist with close ties to the GOP donor class told Fox News Digital.

“As a result, a lot of them are taking a hard look at Nikki Haley. They realize the field needs to consolidate and any opportunity to beat President Trump is going to be predicated on it being a two-person race. There are folks who are seriously considering shifting away from DeSantis and over to Nikki Haley.”

“There’s definitely a lot of people talking,” a top dollar donor supporting DeSantis, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely, told Fox News. “I think there’s a lot of frustration with the DeSantis campaign. We were like this pedigree thoroughbred on the starting and it just didn’t happen.”

DeSantis during South Carolina campaign stop

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rolls out his military policy proposal during an event for his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in West Columbia, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Overall, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday shows Trump leading the GOP field with 64% support in the race for the Republican presidential nomination followed by DeSantis at 15% and Haley with 6%.

Speaking to a press gaggle in New Hampshire on Thursday, DeSantis said “we feel very good about where we are.”

“I would not trade positions with anybody,” DeSantis added.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, the COO of Never Back Down, a DeSantis aligned super Pac, Kristin Davison, said, “No one seriously thinks Nikki Haley has a real shot at winning the nomination and “the reality is Ron DeSantis is the only candidate who can bring the party together. He can win the forever Trump voters and the Never Trump voters.”

“He is the only candidate voters see as the future of the party and the only one who can fight, win, and lead to get the country back on track,” Davidson continued. “Donald Trump knows this which is why he’s only attacking DeSantis and propping up Haley.”

Andrew Romeo, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, told Fox News Digital that the DeSantis campaign has “out-raised the non-Trump field for the entire campaign.”

Romeo went on to say the DeSantis campaign’s “fourth quarter fundraising continues to accelerate, which is why we are beefing up our ad spending and launched our first ad in Iowa today.”

Andrew Mark Miller is a reporter at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to AndrewMark.Miller@Fox.com.

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