Jeb Bush Abruptly Changes Strategy

He cancels TV ad buys in Iowa, SC
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2015 3:14 AM CST
Updated Dec 31, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Jeb Bush Abruptly Changes Strategy
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches event on Monday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Amid talk of a comeback, Jeb Bush's campaign has abruptly changed strategy—and some staffers at its Miami headquarters have had to go shopping for winter clothes. The Des Moines Register reports that the Bush campaign has canceled $3 million in TV ads in Iowa and South Carolina and is using the money to send dozens of staffers to those states and to New Hampshire and Nevada to contact voters directly. Sources tell Politico that campaign manager Danny Diaz told dozens of campaign workers in Florida that "damn near everybody"—including himself—would soon be leaving for early-voting states.

Bush was at a campaign event in South Carolina on Wednesday night, and CNN reports that he downplayed the strategy change. "We have a super PAC that is advertising on television at a rate that is comparable to any other campaign, if not more," he said. "And we are reallocating our resources to voter contact and a ground game that will be second to none. It already is. Having the best organization on the ground is how you win." Bush's chief strategist tells the Register that far from giving up in Iowa, the candidate will now have "the largest paid ground operation in the first four states"—and will have more to spend on TV alternatives like digital ads and ads on conservative radio shows. The Register notes that since the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise has booked $3.9 million in ads in Iowa alone, Iowans will still be seeing plenty of Jeb ads. (More Jeb Bush stories.)

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