REBUKED: DeSantis Packs His Bags as His Campaign of anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Shutters

by Brandon Wolf

HRC President Kelley Robinson says DeSantis’ failure should serve as a warning to other candidates that “campaigns built on anti-LGBTQ+ hate are a failing political strategy”

WASHINGTON, DC – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) PAC responded to today’s announcement that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is suspending his presidential bid after a months-long collapse in support and a dismal performance in the Iowa Caucuses. This latest news underscores the failure of DeSantis, who, for years, has built his political personality on anti-LGBTQ+ hate and erasure.

“From the day he was sworn in as Governor, DeSantis set out to build a political brand on anti-LGBTQ+ hate,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “Yet even the base he was courting with his relentless bigotry rejected him. As the anti-freedom governor of Florida, DeSantis has used every lever of power against LGBTQ+ people: from wielding government agencies against health care and education to punishing those who speak out against his assaults on the community. Republican primary voters rejected DeSantis and the other candidates would do well to learn that campaigns built on anti-LGBTQ+ hate are a failing political strategy.”

According to AdImpact, an advertising analytics resource, Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis super-PAC, spent more than $2 million on anti-LGBTQ+ ads in Iowa. In addition, the DeSantis for President Campaign spent approximately $240,000 on anti-LGBTQ+ ads in the state. The failure of these attacks to sway voters comes on the heels of a 2023 election cycle that saw similar anti-LGBTQ+ efforts fall flat across the country. Despite the massive capital that anti-equality campaigns continue to invest, anti-LGBTQ+ ads continue to be a political loser.

A polling memo released recently by the Human Rights Campaign highlights a series of recent national polls revealing that Americans are growing increasingly opposed to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation spearheaded by DeSantis and other extremist lawmakers, finding the push excessive and nothing more than “political theater.”

  • 64% of all likely voters think there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” — including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans [source].

  • Two recent national surveys report opposition to bans on gender affirming care — one indicating 54% opposition [source] and the other indicating 53% opposition [source].

  • Nearly six in 10 (58%) Americans oppose laws that would restrict drag shows or performances in their state, while 39% support legislation to restrict these performances. While 61% of Republicans are in favor of these bans, 73% of Democrats and 57% of Independents oppose the proposed limitations [source].

  • Majorities disapprove of banning LGBTQ+ content in schools — nearly 60% of Americans believe middle school libraries should include materials related to “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” [source]

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC ( Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email