It has not been a fun election cycle for John Ellis Bush. Even before he officially announced his campaign in June of 2015, many claimed “Jeb” as the odds-on favorite to win both “the Granite State” and the Republican nomination.
But as the New Hampshire primary approaches, those predictions seem as foolish as the idea of a Donald Trump victory seemed a year ago. According to FiveThirtEight.com, Bush has just a five percent chance of winning next Tuesday’s primary, while Trump’s chances are listed at 60 percent.
Granted, it’s not a good idea to underestimate the Bush Family. And Jeb doesn’t need to win the state to stay alive, he just needs a relatively strong showing. But if the New York Times’ description of a recent Bush campaign rally in New Hampshire is any indication, Jeb himself seems to see the writing on the wall:
Yet there are signs Mr. Bush may still have some work to do to finish in the top tier here. Speaking to a crowd at the Hanover Inn near the Vermont border during his final stop of the day, Mr. Bush finished a fiery riff about protecting the country as commander in chief — “I won’t be out here blowharding, talking a big game without backing it up,” he said — and was met with total silence. “Please clap,” he said, sounding defeated. The crowd laughed — and then, finally, clapped.
According to the Washington Post, the Bush’s campaign spent $27.4 million dollars between April of 2015 and the Iowa Caucus. That does not include the millions more spent by PACs on his behalf. All things considered, that money should have bought a lot more unsolicited claps.
Update: Here’s a video of the rally: