Donor pressure, plummeting poll numbers, and a wrench named Trump have caused Jeb Bush's campaign team to start what Reuters calls "reboot mode" and make a drastic decision: slash pay for campaign workers and downsize its Miami headquarters, leading to a 40% payroll decrease and $1 million savings per month, senior campaign officials tell Bloomberg. "Aggressive" measures include cutting salaries of all but the most entry-level workers, decreasing travel costs by 20%, and slashing 45% of the overall budget, except funds for ads and voter contact, per a campaign statement. Bloomberg notes downsizing will include letting consultants go and removing some senior staff from payroll (though some will reportedly keep stumping as volunteers). "Jeb is in this race for the long haul … [and] we are in this campaign to win," the statement says.
The statement doesn't beat around the bush about the person beating down Bush. "It's no secret that the contours of this race have changed," it notes. "We would be less than forthcoming if we said we predicted in June that a reality television star supporting Canadian-style single-payer health care and partial-birth abortion would be leading the GOP primary." But with $10.3 million in the bank at the beginning of October (and hopefully more to come via fundraising), campaign officials believe the cutbacks will help them divert more funds to early-voting states, where the Bush camp says it has the largest field operations, Bloomberg notes. One person thrown about Jeb's financial jiggering: rival Ben Carson. "This is a little bit surprising, but … a lot of his money … was super-PAC money as opposed to campaign money," Carson says in an interview set to air on Bloomberg TV Friday. "That doesn't give you as much flexibility, quite frankly." (Read more Jeb Bush stories.)