Diary

Some Jeb Bush major donors are really dumb

This WaPo article talks about how Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise super PAC is burning through money like crazy with little to show for it. We knew that already, but the reactions here are jaw-dropping.

Right to Rise raised over $100M in 1H15 but only $13M since. It has spent nearly $50M so far – 5x more than other super PACs. And what do they have to show for it? Nationally Bush has plummeted from the low teens to the low single digits since the summer. How about the early voting states?

In Iowa, where Right to Rise has spent nearly $9.4 million since late June, Bush remains stalled in single digits. After the group blanketed New Hampshire with $18.5 million worth of TV ads and yard signs touting Bush, he dropped from a double-digit standing to between 5 and 9 percent support. And in South Carolina, he has fallen out of the top three among GOP presidential contenders, despite a $6.5 million super-PAC barrage on his behalf.

This sounds bad, doesn’t it? Let’s see what one of our favorite paid political advisers has to say about how they are going to turn this around.

In recent private meetings, [Mike] Murphy has continued to express confidence in the super PAC’s value and Bush’s prospects, arguing that a large share of voters have not settled on a candidate. During an early-morning breakfast meeting for Right to Rise supporters in Washington last week, he predicted that the group’s investments in ads touting Bush’s biography and gubernatorial record will pay dividends once the electorate focuses on its choices.

So Mike Murphy is getting paid to say that everything’s great and he says everything’s great. Shocker. A sane person would think Right to Rise has a motto of: “When you find yourself in a hole, dig faster.” This is crazy – shouldn’t these big donors be running for the hills, or perhaps Hill?

“Like everyone else, I’m looking at the numbers,” said Mel Sembler, a Florida developer and former ambassador in both Bush administrations who is helping raise money for Right to Rise. “The political people keep assuring us that the polling numbers are not important at this time. Mike Murphy gave us confidence that things would start turning around when people begin voting.”

Al Hoffman, another Florida developer and former ambassador who has given the super PAC $1 million, said he was impressed with a new 15-minute biographical documentary the group rolled out this weekend.

Are these two guys really that dumb? If Bush’s numbers were rising, Murphy would be saying, “Look at those numbers and write me a check.” Instead they’re falling like a rock, so he says, “Ignore those numbers and write me a check.” And heck, you can hardly get the average voter to listen to a sound bite, so some 15-minute long paean to Bush might bring tears to the eyes of these mega-donors but it doesn’t mean squat when it comes to primary voters.

The rest of the article talks about shockingly little Mike Murphy is being paid to come up with this tremendous strategy (whatever it is it’s too much), the ties among various groups under the covers, and another big donor who thinks all is well. Amazing.

BTW you may have seen on FNC the latest ad from Right to Rise. It fits the usual Murphy pattern of trashing the Republican rivals in the hopes of winning the primary election only to lose the general election as with his past clients McCain and Romney.