Jeb Bush Ads Hit… California

Jeb Bush at California startup (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Eric Risberg / Associated Press

California voters will not go to the polls for more than half a year. Yet ads featuring former Florida governor Jeb Bush have been popping up on California television in recent days.

The ads are part of a nationwide buy through Right to Rise USA, a super PAC supporting Bush’s effort in the Republican primary. Fox News reported last month that Bush’s super PAC was spending $25 million to target early primary states, but in fact the effort will reach viewers–primarily on Fox News–across the country.

Paul Lindsay, spokesman for Right to Rise USA, told Breitbart News on Wednesday via e-mail: “Because we are playing in so many states (IA, NH, SC, NV, plus a handful of March 1 and March 8 states) it would actually cost MORE to buy Fox News in every local market (or cable zone) in the states that we are playing in than simply to place the spot nationally on FNC.

“A national Fox News buy allows us to reach as many likely GOP primary voters with one ad at once.”

The ads include “Doer,” which focuses on Bush’s record as governor.

There may also be strategic considerations for the Bush team. As Breitbart California political editor Jon Fleischman wrote in February, the wide-open nature of the Republican primary made every state more important than usual: “[W]ith no incumbent or natural strong front-runner at this stage…California, even with its late primary in early June, could still matter.”

In addition, candidates can pick up delegates by winning any of California’s congressional districts, opening the door to moderate candidates.

No other candidates appear to be running ads in California, but Ted Cruz has sent representatives as far afield as Guam.

Team Bush may also hope that by playing nationally, even in the liberal Golden State, Bush can make the case for continuing his campaign into the spring, despite stagnant poll numbers and lackluster debate performances.

Regardless, Jeb Bush’s supporters are digging in for a long, hard fight–one in which every vote, in every neighborhood, may play a role in deciding the final winner.