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Saturday, October 22, 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has reserved $7.8 million in air time in January and February for TV ads in the key states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the Bush campaign said on Monday.

The ad buys are a sign of the financial strength of Bush, who was once considered the heavy favorite for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and is now fighting to stay among the leaders.

The Bush campaign reserved $1 million in air time in Iowa, which on Feb. 1 holds the first nominating contest on the road to the November 2016 election, and another $4.6 million for New Hampshire, which votes on Feb. 9.

The ad buy also included $2.2 million for air time ahead of the South Carolina primary on Feb. 20.

Former Florida Governor Bush has led the 15-candidate Republican field in fund-raising, but lately that has not translated into additional popular support.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released over the weekend had him in fifth place with 7 percent support among Republican voters, as New York billionaire Donald Trump continued to lead the field.

The Bush campaign described the ad buy as a “first pass for our long-term approach.”

“As voters in early states and beyond get to know Jeb Bush’s record and vision, he is building support. Our campaign will have the resources needed to be competitive throughout the calendar, ensuring Governor Bush is the nominee,” said Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Alan Crosby)

Photo: Former Florida Governor and U.S. presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina, September 18, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Keane

  • Dominick Vila

    Jeb is going to need a lot more than a $7.8M war chest to have a realistic chance at winning the GOP nomination. He has proven to be a lousy campaigner, and a candidate with personal issues that are unacceptable for the core of his political party. The best thing he can do is withdraw his candidacy. The same goes for most of the Republicans running. They don’t have a chance to win the GOP nomination, or get the Nr. 2 spot in the ticket. The race is between Trump, Carson, Fiorina and Rubio. Carson and Rubio will fade away the moment their usefulness as tokens is satisfied. In the end, and barring the unlikely last minute appearance of a “white knight”, the race is between Trump and Fiorina.

    • johninPCFL

      JEB has something like $100MM in campaign money. He was hoping to cake-walk the GOP primaries and spend it (with matching funds, of course) in the general election. That he’s spending so much now is telling.

    • @HawaiianTater

      There is no way in hell that the Koch Bros and the GOP establishment lets it come down to two outsiders like Fiorina and Trump. I’ll bet you some dap that Jeb still ends up getting the nom. These polls right now mean nothing.

      • Dominick Vila

        The GOP establishment is going to have to do some real magic to save Jeb from himself. He is much more qualified than either Trump or Fiorina, but since qualifications, and a tiny evidence of humanity, are considered liabilities or threats by the far right, I think his chances to win the GOP nomination are nil. I am sure the GOP establishment would rather have someone like him run against whomever the Democratic nominee happens to be, but the opinion is not shared by the most radical wing of the party, which at this moment seems to have taken control of the party and its agenda. Having said that, I would not bet a dime on this or anything else the GOP does.

        • @HawaiianTater

          The money will keep him in it till the voting. Dirty tricks will get him the delegates he needs. I’ve said all along this will come down to Jeb! and Trump, who might have a slim chance at overcoming the dirty tricks of the GOP establishment but it’s still an uphill battle. For the life of me though, I can’t understand why you think Fiorina stands any real chance. Her and Carson are both jokes and won’t be able to hang when the “real” primary campaigning gets started.

          • Dominick Vila

            The biggest joke of all is Donald Trump, and he is doing great in a party that values imbecility, immaturity, arrogance, and narcissism, with a heavy dose of xenophobia.
            Dirty tricks are a possibility, and who can forget who the pregnant chads, and recount delays, Master of Ceremonies was…

          • @HawaiianTater

            Either way, it will be fun to see how the GOP primary plays out. I think it will come down to Jeb! and Trump. We shall see. BTW, I didn’t ask you to bet a dime. My bet was for dap. 😉

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Nice Sheldon Adelson donation that $7.8 million. One wonders how Adelson bundled it to make it appear as if the entire $7.8 million complies with Citizen’s United. JEB has no chance of making it to the White House unless the GOP goes deaf, dumb and blind. He is NOT their first choice.

  • Jinmichigan

    All the money in the world will not make Jeb an acceptable candidate. He’s not the smart one.