Months ago when Jeb Bush launched his presidential campaign, he was firmly in the forefront of the race. He had the biggest name exposure and by far the largest amount of cash. In the early polls, Bush was consistently ranked 1 or 2.
That all changed when Donald Trump entered the race and took all of the air out of Bush’s campaign. Since the first 2 Republican debates, Bush has steadily fallen in the polls. Depending on the polls he is anywhere from 3rd – 5th place.
According to CNN, the Bush campaign is cutting payroll by 40% in the upcoming week. Some of the campaign staff are being laid off. The remaining staff will be operating at a reduced salary.
The staffing is not the only place where the campaign is tightening the belt. Travel costs are also being reduced by at least 20%.
Donald Trump’s run at the top of the polls is having an effect on Bush. “I have not met a person who thought Donald Trump would be the front-running candidate at this point. God bless him for his success in that regard. We’ll see how long that lasts. But you have to adapt,” Bush said.
The campaign is embracing a new lean and mean mentality. Despite the low poll numbers and these upcoming cutbacks, Bush claims to be in the race for the long haul. “I’m not getting out. I believe we have a plan to be very competitive in the early states,” Bush told Fox News, “We have the resources to stay with this. I’m campaigning hard, I’m campaigning with heart. I’m campaigning in a way that will draw people towards our cause.”
Will campaigning hard and “with heart” be enough to salvage Bush’s campaign? The next couple months will be crucial.