By Robert Romano
“This campaign is not dead. We’re going on to South Carolina.”
That was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s assessment of the state of the GOP presidential race after his fourth-place shellacking in New Hampshire.
The Bush team including his Super Pac reportedly spent $36 million on television in the state, yielding 31,310 votes. That’s $1150 per vote.
Compare that with winner Donald Trump’s $3.6 million spent yielding 100,406 votes at $37 a vote, or even third-place Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s $800,000 spent at $24 a vote.
But, “This campaign is not dead.”
Yeah, sure it isn’t.
One wonders if these professional politicians even consider what the heck they’re actually saying before they open their mouths from a communications standpoint.
Bush is actually restating the premise that the campaign is in fact, well, dead.
Leaving aside the fact that no Republican candidate in modern history has gone on to secure the presidential nomination after losing Iowa and New Hampshire back-to-back, one need only look ahead to South Carolina, whose primary is Feb. 20, where Bush is behind as much as 30 points, to get an idea of the uphill battle he faces.
That’s a lot of ground to pick up in less than 10 days.
Mercifully, one only hopes that he — and perhaps Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who spent $15.2 million for 30,032 votes at $506 a vote — just get out of the race before the Florida Primary, where they could be trailing by as much as 40 to 20 points, respectively. Just to spare them the embarrassment of losing their home state.
But, hey, it’s their campaigns. It’s their money that’s being burnt at a rapid clip.
The upside is it might discourage any more members of the Bush dynasty from running again anytime in the future. But perhaps that’s being too optimistic.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.