EXCLUSIVE — The super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is showcasing what the group calls an “historic and unprecedented grassroots operation.”
Never Back Down highlights that they’ve now knocked on 2 million doors nationwide on behalf of DeSantis as he faces off against former President Donald Trump and a crowded field of rivals for the GOP nomination.
According to the details, which were shared first with Fox News on Wednesday, Never Back Down founder and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli knocked on the 2 millionth door on Tuesday in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary and second overall contest in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
The canvassing effort includes more than 355,000 doors knocked in Iowa, whose caucus leads off the Republican nominating calendar, more than 227,000 in New Hampshire and more than 676,000 in South Carolina, another early voting state that holds the first southern contest.
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Never Back Down, which has taken over many of the traditional operations and basic duties handled by a presidential campaign, including grassroots outreach, touted that the canvassing milestone “far surpasses the efforts of every other political operation and marks a significant achievement in presidential politics.”
DeSantis has been trying to change the narrative after a series of setbacks this summer, which triggered weeks of negative stories spotlighting his campaign’s overspending, staff layoffs, change of leadership and other issues.
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While Trump’s large lead over DeSantis expanded this summer, the governor remains in second place in most surveys, but his polling advantage over the rest of the large field of Republican presidential contenders has been shrinking.
Never Back Down made headlines recently as it acknowledged it had ceased door-knocking operations in Nevada, which is scheduled to hold the third GOP presidential nominating contest in the 2024 calendar, as well as in three Super Tuesday states that vote in early March – California, Texas and North Carolina. The super PAC had long showcased its extensive canvassing effort in the early voting and Super Tuesday states as a key ingredient in its efforts to support DeSantis.
But Never Back Down remains well funded, with the super PAC holding nearly $97 million in its coffers as of the end of June, according to second-quarter fundraising filings. That war chest far surpassed the cash on hand for the super PACs supporting DeSantis rivals, including the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc.
“Never Back Down’s voter canvassing effort is making history and setting the standard. We’ve refocused and ramped up our efforts in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and our team’s prowess in reaching 2 million doors since late spring is what sets Team DeSantis apart from the rest of the GOP field – including Donald Trump,” Cuccinelli highlighted in a statement to Fox News.
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And Cuccinelli touted that “Never Back Down’s field organization is growing and mobilizing that support to turn out wins for DeSantis in the early primary states.”
The 2 millionth door, according to the super PAC, belonged to a Goffstown, New Hampshire, resident named Michael.
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Never Back Down identified Michael as “a Granite Stater supporting Gov. DeSantis for President because of the leadership he showcased during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In a statement from the super PAC, Michael wrote, “[A]s a New Hampshire voter, my top priority is electing a President who will fight for me and my constitutional freedoms. For me, that leader is Gov. Ron DeSantis because he has shown time and time again that he isn’t afraid to stand up to unelected bureaucrats in Washington and push back on government overreach, like he did during COVID.”
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