Election 2016 Fail

Just How Much Money Did Team Jeb! Waste?

As you know, former governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb! Bush is no longer with us having suspended his campaign after a string of embarrassing finishes.

Jeb! exits the race with the distinction of having raised and blown far more money than every other GOP candidate. Jeb's campaign and his super PAC together raised more than $150 million and very little of it remains.

As of January 31, Bush had raised more than $118 million through the Right to Rise Super PAC and about $32 million directly through his campaign. That’s the most of any candidate save Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. An additional $55,000 came from Millennials Rising, another conservative super PAC. [...]

According to the Huffington Post, the Right to Rise Super PAC has only about about $2.5 million left in its once-bulging coffers.

Jeb's donors and bundlers are reportedly shellshocked by Jeb's failure and the amount of money they poured into his failure.

“I feel like I need to take a breather and watch from the sidelines over the next couple of weeks before diving back in,” said Kimberley Fritts, CEO of the Podesta Group, when asked whom she would be supporting next. Fritts had previously worked on Bush’s gubernatorial campaign.

Al Cardenas, a senior partner Squire Patton Boggs and Bush campaign advisor, emailed: “Jeb is a close personal friend, not just a political ally. His loss has deeply saddened me. I have avoided all incoming. Will sit this out for a bit.”

“I’m in mourning,” said a Bush bundler who asked to remain anonymous.

I would say this is evidence that money cannot necessarily buy elections, but it's not conclusive and it's somewhat unprecedented in that the GOP race might look wildly different today if Donald Trump had never entered the race. Money also has a tremendous amount of influence in local and downticket races that we don't necessarily pay as much attention to as we should.

Moreover, Jeb! was a really, really bad candidate. He was never able to convincingly present himself as a hardliner in a race dominated by hardliners and there were more than a few occasions when we collectively cringed and groaned as he desperately tried to.

Please clap.

Having a lot of money certainly helps, but it can't save a terrible candidate.

  • muselet

    A $150 million bonfire should be more … impressive, shouldn’t it?

    And what on Earth is a Bush meant to do when he leaves the family business prematurely? Thanksgivings with the Bush clan are going to be tense for a while, methinks.


  • Aynwrong

    I’ve never seen a candidate who was so unfit to run for the White House. Never mind his ability to serve as President.

    • Victor the Crab

      You can pretty much say that for the entire field of Republicans that climbed into the clown car.

    • muselet

      His shockingly poor campaign performance is why I have been saying for a while that Jeb! Bush didn’t really want to run for President in the first place.