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Jeb Cutting Back On Expenses

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By    |   Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 10:52 AM

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush's campaign has reportedly shifted gears to belt-tightening mode, socking away millions in an otherwise fat war chest to prove to donors the struggling candidate is a prudent spender.

"The high life has ended," an unnamed source familiar with the Bush campaign tells Politico. "They're running a more modest operation in the last two weeks, and the traveling party has definitely shrunk."

Whereas the candidate used a private plane to campaign in Iowa in August, last week, his visits to the state were all by car — and when he does fly, it'd by commercial airliner, Politico reports.

Thursday is the deadline for filing fundraising totals for the third quarter, although retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's totals have already gone public.

According to Politico, the sudden struggle to raise dollars and belt-tightening doesn't portend a lack of money — it's to convince "nervous donors" he isn't wasting money.

"At a certain point, we want to see a bang for the buck," one unnamed Bush supporter tells Politico. "We're spending the bucks — and we're seeing no bang."

Bush is polling fifth, with 7 percent, in an averaging of national polls, almost 3 points behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who, according to Politico, is "starting to catch the eye of deep-pocketed establishment donors impressed by his leaner operation" and appeal.

Politico reports Bush's well-oiled  early state organizations surpass those of most rivals, but his paid advertising and speeches aren't yet paying off.

In New Hampshire, Bush and the Right to Rise super PAC backing him have spent at least $4.8 million on TV and radio to support him since early September, Politico reports, noting Donald Trump, Carson and Fiorina aren't advertising at all.

"A lot of the cable news coverage has focused on the personalities," says David Kochel, who's overseeing Bush's early-state strategy, Politico reports.

"But at the end of the day, when you ask voters what they care about, it's still jobs and the economy. Voters aren't engaged yet. When it gets closer to voting time, people are going to get more serious about who can actually be president."

Still, Bush fundraiser Fred Zeidman, tells Politico, "Trump and also Carly Fiorina have really changed the dynamic by saying, 'We don't have to have policy [proposals], we'll figure it out later,' and voters saying, 'OK.'"

And he tells the website the $100 million that Right to Rise put away early may just turn out to be a campaign-saver.

"Thank God we did it when we could," he tells Politico. "We figured that if fundraising dried up, we'd have the powder to stay in the race."

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Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush's campaign has reportedly shifted gears to belt-tightening mode, socking away millions in an otherwise fat war chest to prove to donors the struggling candidate is a prudent spender.
jeb bush, campaign, cutting back, expenses
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Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 10:52 AM
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