Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Money Can't Buy Everything

If Jeb! (more like Jeb?) can't buy a win in Iowa with all his hundreds of millions in Super PAC cash, then exactly what can he win?

Jeb Bush's campaign is canceling its Iowa television advertising buy and shifting money to double staff on the ground in January, the final month before the high-stakes Iowa caucuses.

The news will raise questions about whether the former Florida governor might pull out of Iowa given his fifth-place status here, with just 6 percent support of likely GOP caucusgoers.

That's not the case, Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz told The Des Moines Register.

The number of Iowa paid staffers who make personal contact with voters will be boosted from 11 to more than 20, including its Hispanic outreach director, he said.

Bush returns to campaign here Jan. 11-13 with stops in Iowa City, Grinnell, Des Moines and Ankeny.

The larger context is that Team Bush is making similar shifts from TV ads to its ground game in other early states, too. In January, they'll deploy 60 staffers from the Miami headquarters to the early states, including about 10 to Iowa.

And Bush's presence will still be prominent on voters' TV screens: A pro-Bush super PAC has reserved more than $19 million in ads across the first three states in coming days.

The Bush campaign itself has spent tens of millions on television ads to date, yet his candidacy has failed to catch on, something rival Donald Trump has mocked him for.

Diaz said the campaign is removing $3 million in previously reserved TV time: an Iowa buy of about $1 million and a January buy in South Carolina of about $2 million. It's instead increasing direct voter contact with a total of 60 additional staffers.

My question is this: why is Jeb? unable to do both?  The answer is that more and more, this is now the party of Trump and Cruz, of mean, inchoate rage against the dying of the, well, white.

Bush's aides acknowledged that Iowa can be a very tough state for mainstream GOP candidates. The three Republicans who have consistently led polls here since late summer, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, are outsider tea party candidates.

You don't say.
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