It has been conventional wisdom that, whether Trump is going to actually run in 2024 or not, he damn sure is going to act like a guy running in 2024 until the very last minute because he can’t afford to be a retired politician. If he talks about being president again, people send free money! But there is a flaw in the plan. Trump’s last six months, and last six weeks – in particular – have been so bizarre, and so dangerous that GOP donors, especially the biggest ones, are fleeing. According to Politico:

In interviews, those operatives describe a GOP electorate still enamored with Trump and dismissive of the committee and its findings. But elements of the voters, donors and activists that make the three pillars of the party are exhausted too, they say. And they’re growing less willing to let the baggage of the Trump years complicate the future.

“Trump is facing an important onslaught of negative facts with these hearings and there is no real defense. He has no friendly members on the committee and there aren’t facts to put in front of the public to make any of this sound less bad,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor.

This, of course, helps Trump’s adversaries going into the future and many in the Republican party see Ron DeSantis as the future. There is a very sudden and very big problem with that line of thinking but that will be covered below the quote:

“Ron DeSantis,” he said of the Florida governor, “is lying in wait, sharpening his knives… [DeSantis’s advisors see the hearings] as another in a line of distractions that are exhausting the sort of top-line Republican money that could be influential to a potential 2024 Trump-DeSantis primary clash.

It is nothing more than common sense to hear that wealthy GOP donors are tired of Trump and the never-ending “show,” sh*tty as it is. But they might want to be a bit cautious in putting all their money on DeSantis as the best horse in the stable because DeSantis just got handed a big pile of manure himself in the Dobbs ruling on Friday.


Because as of Friday, DeSantis is very suddenly vulnerable in Florida. Despite the fact that Florida is increasingly a red state, Florida is even more pro-choice than the rest of the country. Thus, Florida does not have an anti-abortion law currently on the books, one ready to go. DeSantis controls his legislature and his supreme court with an iron heart. He gets what he wants. Both national MAGAs and Florida MAGAs will expect and demand that DeSantis implement an anti-abortion law. But if DeSantis put such a law in place, he puts himself in a position where he could actually lose the governor’s race in November. It is tough to be the natural successor to all things MAGA when you just got done losing Florida.

And that leaves GOP donors in an even bigger dilemma. There’s little doubt that most donors haven’t had time to absorb the ripple effect of the Dobbs decision. But the decision changes everything when it comes to strategically donating money. Yes, Trump is both exposed and exhausting. But certain would-be-heirs are now also more exposed than before. The Dobbs decision will force GOP donors to recalculate everything, from donations to presidential candidates to local races.

It is easy to point to the one guy that has never looked weaker. As Politico notes, Trump is exhausting and he never stops asking for money. It also looks more likely than not that Trump will be indicted. Paying defense attorneys isn’t the most impactful political donation. But the entire landscape just got more complicated for GOP donors.

Yes, one aspect is simple. Trump is yesterday’s news. The rest is complicated, due to Friday’s news.

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