With Jeb Bush slipping in the polls — now behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and in fifth place in a national polling average
— his fundraisers are reportedly touting the former Florida governor's still substantial financial muscle to calm anxious donors.
"Our campaign has the scale to go through all the early states and into March and have the organization to get us on the ballot, to go get delegates and acquire delegates throughout the process," campaign strategist David Kochel tells Politico.
Yet despite the $100 million war chest and impressive campaign organization, Rubio's good showing in the first two GOP candidate debates is having an effect as the candidates face a third quarter Federal Elections Commission fundraising deadline, Politico reports.
"I don't know if it's panic or paranoia in Miami, but they are losing [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker people to Marco and if you say what's true, they get mad," one Bush donor tells Politico.
"I think it's just reflective of what's been going on for the past month or so and the way the race, at least in the establishment lane, has shifted. It's really Jeb or Marco now. Marco's fundraising has picked up and Jeb's has stayed flat."
The continued dominance of GOP front-runner Donald Trump and the sudden resignation of House Speaker John Boehner in the face of the anti-insider revolt hasn't helped.
"There's a lot concern that if the conservative wing of our party takes control, that no Republican [presidential candidate] has a chance; so a lot of folks are waiting to see what happens with a shutdown," Bush fundraiser Fred Zeidman tells Politico.
"Things could definitely be better. The low hanging fruit has all been picked."
Still, the strength of the Bush organization is reason enough to take heart, one big Bush donor tells Politico.
"Are some people nervous? Of course. Some people are always nervous," the donor says.
"And things don't look really good right now. But most of Bush World are pros. They know there's time. Now if the election were tomorrow, we'd be [expletive] bricks. But the election isn't tomorrow. We have time. And we have the experience on our side. No one has the campaign, the infrastructure that Jeb has. And no one has the money."
One big test lays ahead: Bush's super PAC is set to roll out the first $25 million in television ads next months, and "if this … doesn't move numbers, in two weeks, that's when you're going to see panic set in," one donor tells Politico.
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