I know there are those who still think he is in the running. I, too, can’t get over my dread that he still has a way to win the Republican nomination. But that seems to be getting less and less likely.
Thus, the Washington Times headline: “Jeb Bush burns through campaign cash, slides in polls.”
Mr. Bush and his super PAC burned through more than half of the $133 million they raised in the first three quarters this year. The return on that investment has been a drop in polls from about 15 percent when he entered the race in June to about 4 percent in recent surveys.
“He has not been a great candidate and the campaign never seemed to hit its strides despite all the money he had,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Jacksonville.
He had to slash his campaign payroll nearly in half and reorganize into a leaner operation in October when it became clear that the spending was out of control and donations were drying up while his run had stagnated in the middle of a crowded Republican field.
His campaign and his super PAC, Right to Rise, have splurged more than $37 million on ads, more than any other candidate and about a third of the total spent by all the candidates combined on advertising this year.
Yet he is still stuck in fifth place and more than 30 percentage points behind front-runner Donald Trump in most polls in December.
But for Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor whose father and brother both occupied the White House and whose family name is synonymous with the Republican Party, the worst part likely has been losing and losing badly to Mr. Trump, a boorish and insult-spewing political neophyte.
Mr. Bush entered the presidential race with the baggage of his family name, which helped him with political connections and fundraising but hobbled him with the fresh memory of the troubled presidency of his brother, George W. Bush, who left office in 2009 with the country mired in the Iraq War and a job approval rating of 35 percent.
Despite a conservative record as governor, Mr. Bush turned off conservative voters with his support of Common Core education standards and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
What I don’t understand is why anyone expected some other outcome. Did anyone think Republican voters would be excited to vote for another member of the Bush dynasty?
Awhile back people were claiming that Trump was helping Jeb Bush. I don’t think they are saying that any more. There is no love lost between Trump and me, but if he is the reason that the ruling cabal hasn’t been able to force Bush on us, then I am thankful for him.