Jeb has a lot of money and is likely hoping the rest of the “establishment” candidates run out of money and have to drop out. If he’s the last such candidate standing, his poll numbers will grow and Trump and Cruz will have to take him seriously the rest of he way. He’s likely to do pretty well in FL and TX, both high delegate states, so the race could look a lot different in a month. If Kasich is still around come Michigan and Ohio though, the race will remain really messy.
I mean, it’s working sorta. He’s one of the final six, and kasich has no chance. and Marco Roboto may have screwed himself over in the last debate. If jeb can pull a 3rd place in SC after trump and cruz, he might somehow end up being the establishment lane candidate after all
To use a poker term, he went all in in SC. Not only did he spend a $hitload of money there blasting Rubio, more importantly he used all the political capital he had left by bringing out GWB who had a 88% approval rating among Republicans in that state. Every Bush has conquered SC. It’s the type of state he had to do well in in order to have any hope left of winning and convincing his donors to keep contributing.
The Rubio result must have also demoralized him (he got 3 times more support) and it’s clear at this point that Rubio is miles ahead in the establishment lane.
The pundits and wishful thinkers on twitter love to push this notion that trump loses in a three man race of (rubio/cruz/trump). Totally naive. they are under the pretense that rubio will literally get 100% of Jeb/Kasich vote. It’s not true. There hasnt been a single poll that shows trump doesnt win a three man race. Establishment’s only sliver of hope is getting it down to either rubio vs trump or cruz vs trump in a head to head. otherwise this thing is over. Trump is your nominee
I really thought Bush would stick it out at least until Super Tuesday. Didn’t realize how much he spent in SC though and I guess Rubio getting the Nikki Haley endorsement was too much for Jeb’s backers. Although I like Rubio’s positions on a lot of things, I think he is currently underqualified to POTUS.