Donors Waiting For 'Family Hall Pass' To Drop Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush’s campaign has been in decline for months; the only saving grace being his cash situation. Major Bush donors are finally preparing to drop their candidate and start looking elsewhere, per Politico.

Polling numbers have been extremely rough for Bush. He entered the race as the front-runner and now finds himself with 4.8% in RealClearPolitics’ national GOP polling average. He has about half of the support struggling Dr. Ben Carson has.

The campaign’s difficulties underline emerging themes in the 2016 cycle.

Buying elections has become more difficult, while online strategies are taking over from traditional TV advertising. Bush has aired more ads than anyone in either party: more than 23,000.

Between his campaign and super PACs, Bush has more than $100 million still on the sidelines. He has spent $20 million so far this cycle, topped only by Ben Carson among Republicans.



On “Meet the Press” this weekend, Bush made reference to his healthy money reserves: “We have the resources to go the distance. And I’m gonna do it.”

Unfortunately for Bush and his campaign team, donors are starting to seriously lose confidence.

A top Bush donor on Wall Street was reported by Politico as saying: “I’m resigned to it being over, frankly. It’s really disappointing. I’d urge him to get out after New Hampshire if he doesn’t do well, but he probably won’t.”

The Bush name is looking like the only reason why some donors may stick around. A Bush fundraiser told donors recently, “Hey, I need you to throw away money on Jeb -- out of loyalty.”

Accordingly, a George W. administration official said that donors are waiting for a “family hall pass” to switch support to another candidate. Bush’s donor base on Wall Street is expected to get behind Sen. Marco Rubio once Jeb’s failure becomes unavoidable.

Other donors, again from Wall Street (pattern here?), are still grasping at straws. “I can’t believe Donald Trump is going to get the nomination. As long as there is still all this insanity, there is hope for Jeb.”

The expectation that voters may finally come to their senses sounds like terribly wishful thinking.

Trump’s success is quickly gaining traction, and voters are accepting Trump as their front-runner. As GOP voters increasingly see Trump as a viable nominee, Jeb’s hopes fade ever faster.

According to The Washington Post, the fraction of GOP voters that could see themselves supporting Trump has increased almost three-fold since March 2015. Over the same period, Bush’s numbers on the same question have almost halved.
2 comments about "Donors Waiting For 'Family Hall Pass' To Drop Jeb Bush".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, January 19, 2016 at 4:08 p.m.

    It would be a mistake to believe "online strategies are taking over from traditional TV advertising"  because of Bush's poor performance. Unfortunately, he seems to be a poor public speaker (should have taken a Dale Carnegie or similar course) and was promoting the wrong message (should have had marketing advisers who understand polling and the anger of the public toward "career politicians" who will say and do anything to be re-elected). 

  2. Philip Rosenstein from Law360 replied, January 19, 2016 at 9:09 p.m.

    A point well taken, Ron. Though, his strategy of throwing money at TV ad spots has actually made things worse for him. I wonder how he'd be doing if he'd spent more time and money addressing an online audience like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, we'll probably never know. I do agree with you that his team completely missed the nail on understanding what the GOP electorate wants in a candidate this time around.

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