Did DeSantis' 'glitchy' Twitter launch damage his campaign?

The Florida governor's kickoff, while perhaps not dooming, may have 'undercut a central point' of his platform

Ron DeSantis riding Twitter logo
(Image credit: Illustrated / Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) launched his long-awaited campaign for the 2024 presidential nomination in a conversation with Elon Musk that was streamed live on Twitter, which the controversial billionaire now owns. The unprecedented online event was supposed to catapult DeSantis into the race and help him regain some of the ground he has lost recently in polls, which show former President Donald Trump the overwhelming favorite in the GOP field.

But the live stream didn't go as planned. Glitches delayed DeSantis' announcement by 20 minutes. By the time he was finally able to deliver his remarks, more than half of the original online audience of 600,000 had left. Moderator and GOP donor David Sacks claimed so many people wanted to hear DeSantis they were "kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign." DeSantis' campaign said he raised $1 million online within an hour. But rivals had a field day mocking the event. "Glitchy. Tech issues. Uncomfortable silences. A complete failure to launch. And that's just the candidate!" a spokesperson for Trump texted reporters.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.