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GOP megadonor details candidates' next steps after first debate

Republicans can't "afford to be emotional" with who they pick as their 2024 nominee, billionaire Thomas Peterffy says while hinting at giving more dollars to Glenn Youngkin.

A billionaire Republican megadonor has set his sights on the most promising 2024 GOP presidential candidate – but it wasn’t anyone on the debate stage Wednesday night.

"He said he's completely focused on the Virginia elections, which will take place on November 7. He doesn't want to talk about anything else," Interactive Brokers Chairman and founder Thomas Peterffy said of Gov. Glenn Youngkin on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Thursday. "I don't know if we can talk him into entering the race, but I think it would be very, very important that we try."

"He has gravitas," he added.

Peterffy, who’s contributed financially to both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ and Youngkin’s campaigns, respectively, expressed that he wants to support the candidate who could defeat President Biden in the general election.


"I don't think that Republicans can afford to be emotional in this election," Peterffy told host Neil Cavuto. "The person that most likely the primary voters are going to vote for is not the one who most people would vote for in the general election. The goal must be to win the general election."

Although he believes DeSantis "won" the first primary debate, Peterffy believes his "huge problem" lies in the recently-passed abortion bill in Florida, which Democrats will campaign heavily against.

When it comes to Vivek Ramaswamy, the megadonor complimented his "captivating" presence but pointed out the elephant in the room.

"Unfortunately, it's very heavy baggage that is not well-known or talked about a lot, which is that he's a vegetarian Hindu and animal rights activist," Peterffy said.

If former President Donald Trump leads as Republicans’ "power candidate," Peterffy warned, Trump will be running against himself.

"Just like in 2020, people voted for or against Trump. Biden was just a name for the against-Trump voters. The same thing happened in 2022," the Interactive Brokers founder said. "We cannot make the same mistake three times."

Trump is leading both DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., garnering 42% support in a new poll of Iowa’s likely Republican caucusgoers.


Trump is leading 23 percentage points over DeSantis, who garnered 19% support in the Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll of 406 likely Republican caucusgoers conducted August 13-17.

Scott came in third place with 9% support, while former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence tied for fourth at 6%. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie garnered 5% support, and 4% of respondents said they would support tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.


Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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