Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s campaign has reportedly laid off a significant number of staff just a week after its attempt to privately reassure donors and supporters.
According to a staffer who was part of the layoffs, the DeSantis campaign has dramatically reduced its staff recently as the governor’s bid to become the Republican presidential nominee continues to stall.
The staffer, speaking exclusively to America’s News Brief, also said that morale has sharply fallen among the campaign’s remaining staff as some have started to look for backup employment options.
America’s News Brief could not independently verify the layoffs but did confirm the former staffer’s identity.
If accurate, the mass layoff is yet another sign that the DeSantis campaign will look to early state results to determine its future.
That strategy was detailed just over a week ago in the leak of a confidential campaign memo meant to reassure concerned donors and supporters.
“From my understanding, if we don’t see a bump in the polls, we are basically going to shut down the idea of a national operation,” a DeSantis-aligned operative told NBC News following the leak.
Polls show the governor is still second to former President Donald Trump, but Trump’s lead is beginning to seem insurmountable.
A CBS News poll from June shows 61% of likely Republican primary voters would vote for Trump compared to just 23% for DeSantis.
However, a follow up question about which candidates voters are considering showed 51% of likely Republican voters still see him as a viable option.
Trump Claims DeSantis Wants Out
Meanwhile, Trump has used his Truth Social platform to claim DeSantis is looking for a way out.
“Ron DeSanctimonious is desperately trying to get out of the Presidential race, while at the same time saving face for 2028, where he has been greatly damaged,” Trump said in a series of posts at the start of the month.
He also claimed the campaign had overspent and was struggling now as large donors withhold their money.
ABC News reported that hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, a significant early supporter of DeSantis, has grown impatient with the campaign and “hit the pause button” on his support, though Griffin’s spokesperson has publicly denied that claim.
But not all of DeSantis’s donors are looking for the exit.
Megadonor Hal Lambert, who previously supported Trump before backing DeSantis, remains positive.
“I think the polling will come around,” he said.