Governor Ron DeSantis’s Presidential campaign hit a stumbling block in December when another high-profile staffer quit. Jeff Roe, a top adviser to the DeSantis super-PAC Never Back Down, left the organization “with immediate effect,” prompting speculation that the group is in turmoil. CEO Scott Wagner said recent departures from the DeSantis camp were attributable to “numerous unauthorized leaks containing false information” but later clawed back his comments when a lawyer representing staff said this was untrue.
Never Back Down lost its CEO Adam Laxalt in November, and three senior staffers were fired around the same time. One of those was Kristin Davison, a key figure in helping DeSantis reach his goal of visiting all 99 counties in Iowa.
Mainstream media speculation now suggests that the DeSantis campaign is in its worst position yet, and only weeks before voting opens in the crucial Hawkeye State. The Floridian Governor has, however, dealt with crushing blows since day one of his campaign.
In May, he formally announced his run in an interview with Elon Musk on Twitter, but technical difficulties meant it started half an hour late and was marred by visual and audio interruptions. Gay Republicans later condemned him for a bizarre video they considered homophobic, and his support continued to drop as he toured the country hosting live events.
He faced growing criticism for his “lack of personality,” with some saying they supported him until they met him.
Etiquette expert Julia Esteve Boyd said DeSantis looks uncomfortable around people, and is pushing them away. She said politicians are often “forced into doing things that are perhaps not always natural for them. But when you’re a public persona, this is part of the job.”
A clip of DeSantis checking his phone while having a beer with potential voters was viewed 10 million times on social media and was near-universally derided. One person wrote, “This is the behavior of someone who hates people and isn’t very good at pretending he doesn’t.”