Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is facing a crisis of confidence from many of his supporters and his donors are threatening to find a new candidate if he doesn’t jump up in the polls soon.
According to the Washington Post, numerous senior GOP fundraisers have now made these threats as Bush and his super PAC have been aggressively spending money on ad campaigns in early primary states, preparing to flood the airwaves in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.
Despite these efforts, polls continue to show doubts about his abilities as a candidate.
A Florida poll showed Bush in third place, with only 11 percent support in the state he formerly governed.
He is now polling in fifth place nationally with just 7 percent in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday. Bush is now behind all three political outsiders – Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson – as well as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
These mistakes undercut the general election appeal that he sold many Republican donors on.
In an interview on Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Bush shook off the bad press and said, “these polls really don’t matter.”
But Bush’s numbers don’t look good. He is underwater in terms of favorability in a general election and is losing to Donald Trump in every state including Florida by double digits.
Several Bush insiders also fear Rubio’s recent surge in momentum.
Rubio has jumped ahead of Bush in two of the key states the former Florida governor needs to win: New Hampshire and Florida. A recent CNN/WMUR poll in New Hampshire showed Rubio in third with 9 percent, and Bush tied with Kasich in fourth place at 7 percent.
“People are looking at the stage and saying, ‘Jeb or Marco?’ I’m going with the news,” a top party fundraiser told The Washington Post.
The only thing that Bush has going for him at this point is his $120 million war chest that is split between his campaign and super PAC, making the threats by his donors all the more dangerous for his campaign.