Is Jeb Bush Even Bothering To Try To Win South Carolina?

DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons image 24815447215_e5c1dbef09_o
This is a serious question.

Following the New Hampshire primary, the Bush campaign made a big deal of saying they were going full-bore in South Carolina with their objective to take out both Marco Rubio and John Kasich. But is that, in fact, what is happening?


I offer this. For the January 1 through February 7 period, this is the most recent data that I can access unless there is a sugar daddy out there who wants to buy me a subscription, this is the advertising picture in South Carolina. This reflects paid radio and television purchases:

Marco Rubio CONSERVATIVE SOLUTIONS Super PAC bought 836 radio ads, with 396 in CHARLESTON, 220 in COLUMBIA, and 220 in GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG.

Marco Rubio CONSERVATIVE SOLUTIONS placed 108 anti-CRUZ ads

Ted Cruz KEEP THE PROMISE I bought 712 spots, 191 in CHARLESTON, 139 in COLUMBIA and 382 in GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG

TED CRUZ campaign bought 337 spots in the three markets

HILLARY CLINTON bought 575 spots

DONALD TRUMP campaign 336

BERNIE SANDERS campaign 235

JEB BUSH campaign 235

Jeb Bush RIGHT TO RISE USA bought 120 ads against RUBIO

BEN CARSON campaign 182

The polling situation looks like this:

The primary is next Saturday.

One has to anticipate that this picture will not change a whole lot. Campaigns that were spending big before New Hampshire will already have made their advertising buys for the period leading up to the South Carolina primary. It doesn’t make sense to think Rubio or Cruz are going to let up on their ad buys right before the primary. What does make sense is that Jeb Bush was looking at South Carolina as being his last hurrah. He was going to toss everything into New Hampshire.


Based on this we have to assume Bush’s strategic announcement falls directly in the too-little-too-late category. The advertising market in South Carolina is basically bought out and Bush will be going into what he has declared as a must-win with his advertising buys looking like those of Bernie Sanders or Ben Carson.

Caricature by DonkeyHotey


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