Pro-DeSantis PAC targets Trump voters with 'Winner' ad campaign in early primary states

The ad targets Trump voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

April 28, 2023, 4:08 PM

The super PAC supporting Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis' expected 2024 presidential run is set to launch a new TV ad targeting Trump voters -- pitching the governor as a "winner" in four early voting states.

The seven-figure ad buy from the Never Back Down PAC, slated to start airing on Monday, will target local broadcasts in four states that kick off the Republican primary: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, according to the PAC.

The ad will also run nationally and on cable.

The minute-long ad titled, "Winner," shared first with ABC News, aims to showcase the governor's winning record. The ad subtly depicts DeSantis as the successor to Trump, showing front-page headlines of the governor's victories in 2018 and 2022 hanging in succession on a wall next to a headline of Trump's 2016 win.

The ad also highlights DeSantis' overwhelming win in 2022 by featuring the New York Post headline that declared him "DeFuture."

In the ad's closing moments, a man is shown putting a "DeSantis for President" bumper sticker over a faded "Trump 2016" one.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives for a visit with Britain's Foreign Secretary in London, April 28, 2023.
Alberto Pezzali/AP

"We insist on the restoration of time-tested constitutional principles. So that government of by and for the people shall not perish from this earth. We the people are not destined for failure," DeSantis says in the ad, which also features familiar attacks on the "woke mob," declaring that "Florida is where woke goes to die."

The new buy comes amid an ad blitz by Never Back Down. Starting with its first full national TV buy earlier this month titled "Anthem," the PAC has been spending millions on an ad blitz aimed at first introducing the governor nationally and now pivoting to show Republican voters who previously supported Trump that they can now support DeSantis.

ABC News previously reported that Never Back Down raised over $30 million since March.

DeSantis has not yet formally announced a 2024 presidential campaign, but sources tell ABC News the Florida governor has plans in the works to launch an exploratory committee as early as mid-May.

Former President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., April 4, 2023.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

DeSantis' official announcement would come soon after, with the governor currently eyeing mid-June, the sources said.

"Governor Ron DeSantis is proven winner; he has never lost an election or a fight and if Republicans want to win the White House in 2024, Governor DeSantis is the best chance to do that. The future is now, and his name is Governor Ron DeSantis," Never Back Down Communications Director Erin Perrine told ABC News.

The governor has long been seen as former President Donald Trump's main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

ABC News previously reported that DeSantis has privately indicated to allies that he intends to launch a run for the White House.

The governor has suggested that any political decision would have to wait until after his state's Legislature has adjourned this year, which will be in early May.

"This is going to be the most productive legislative session we have had across the board, and I think people are going to be really excited," DeSantis said on "Fox & Friends" in February, during which he also touted his new book and accompanying tour. "As we get beyond that, then we can decide from there," he said then.