Jeb Bush Fading in New Hampshire

A poll released Monday from Monmouth University confirms that Donald Trump and Ben Carson are on the rise in the Republican field in New Hampshire.

Just ahead of the second GOP debate, Trump leads the field with 28 percent in the nation’s first primary state. Carson is a distinct second with 17 percent. The only other candidate in double-digits is Ohio Governor John Kasich, with 11 percent support.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is fourth, with 8 percent. Businesswomen Carly Fiorina and one-time frontrunner Jeb Bush are tied for fifth, with 7% support each. The rest of the Republican field polls under 5 percent.

Trump’s position at the top of the field holds steady from a July poll conducted by Monmouth, when Trump earned 24 percent support. The bigger changes have been the surge in support for Ben Carson, up from only 5 percent in July, and the collapse in support for Jeb Bush, who was second in the July poll. Jeb, in fact, has shed almost half his support from the July survey.

Jeb’s favorables have also turned upside down. In July, his favorable/unfavorables were 47/37. Today, they are 39/45, a 16-point swing to the negative. Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz and Kasich are the only candidates whose favorables improved since July. Every other candidate lost ground, with Jeb’s drop being particularly noteworthy.

As Breitbart News reported last week, Right to Rise, the Super PAC affiliated with Jeb Bush’s campaign has scheduled $11 million in TV advertising beginning this week in New Hampshire. The Bush campaign itself is planning at least $500,000 in advertising in the Granite State. Both buys will be heavy in the expensive Boston media market, which covers large parts of New Hampshire. It also, for those keeping score at home, covers even more voters who won’t be voting in New Hampshire.

Such is the fate of campaigns managed by television media buyers.

Obviously, the Bush campaign is hopeful the saturation TV buy will reverse the campaign’s fortunes in the state. Kasich, who has surged to third in the Monmouth poll, has certainly benefited from more than $2 million in TV advertising in the state over the last several weeks. On the other hand, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Superpac has spent almost $1 million in New Hampshire and has moved from 1 percent support to 1 percent support.

Graham’s support in New Hampshire is so low, in fact, that Monmouth didn’t bother testing his favorables.

Millions in advertising can be very effective, if it is broadcasting the right message. An overwhelming majority of Republicans in New Hampshire though, 55 percent, believe the national Republican party doing a bad job representing their concerns. Two-thirds of Republican voters in the state are dissatisfied with Republican leaders in Congress.

Moreover, an historic number, 68 percent prefer a candidate from outside the halls and chambers of government. Less than a quarter believe the country needs someone with government experience.

His experience in government and his perceived record has been the sine qua non of the Bush campaign. It is the wrong message at the wrong time, no matter how much money is behind it.


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