A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Monmouth University confirms the fading fortunes of the Jeb Bush campaign.
Despite spending more on TV than all other candidates combined, Jeb has dropped to sixth place in nation’s first primary state, a must-win for his Presidential ambitions. In July, Jeb Bush was second in New Hampshire.
A great deal of Bush’s candidacy was predicated on enjoying an enormous financial edge over his Republican rivals. When he launched his campaign this summer, an allied Super PAC announced it had raised just over $100 million to support Jeb in the primary. This announcement was intended to “shock and awe” his rivals for the nomination.
Most pundits and observers predicted that Bush’s prodigious fundraising would enable him to outlast the other candidates and ultimately overwhelm them with advertising. Given Bush’s already overwhelming edge in paid advertising, that premise is wrong.
In September and October, Bush’s Super PAC, Right to Rise, spent more than $7.5 million on ads in New Hampshire. Combined with spending by Bush’s individual campaign, pro-Bush advertising eclipsed $8 million in the state. This spending is twice the amount spent by the next biggest spender, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose Super pac’s have spent around $3.7 million in the state.
Kasich’s advertising, which started in September, is at least producing results. Kasich is currently polling fourth in the Monmouth poll, with 11 percent. Jeb Bush has just 7 percent support in the state.
Donald Trump continues to lead New Hampshire, with 26 percent support, essentially unchanged since the end of Summer. Ben Carson is a distant second, with 16. Sen. Marco Rubio, who enjoyed a huge poll bump after last week’s CNBC debate is third with 13. Kasich is fourth with 11 percent and Ted Cruz is fifth with 9 percent.
Bush, in sixth with 7 percent, edges out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, each with 5. The rest of the Republican field is below 5.
Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina have yet to spend any money on advertising in New Hampshire.
After Bush and Kasich, Gov. Christie has spent the next largest amount. Super PACs supporting his campaign have run just over $3 million in advertising so far. A Super PAC supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham has, amazingly, spent just under $3 million in the state. Graham receives less than 1 percent support in the latest poll.
Marco Rubio’s Super PAC has spent about $1.5 million in the state. Rubio’s campaign and Super PAC have reserved over $7 million in ads in December and January however. Bush is planning a $15 million ad blitz in those final two months.
Given the effectiveness of Bush’s spending to date, however, it is unlikely this final buy will be enough to win in the state. He has lost ground in the poll, after all, in spite of having most of the advertising space to himself. His message is unlikely to prove more effective when everyone else is also competing for viewers.
Bush’s campaign began with a bang, but seems destined to end in a whimper.