Bush machine running on fumes – Politico

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‘People would love to get Jeb all the way … that’s not realistic,’ one big-dollar supporter says.

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — Some of Jeb Bush’s most steadfast allies think Saturday might be the end.

Donors, who poured millions into his campaign and super PAC, have stopped giving – one refusing a direct request to raise $1 million this week. Bush himself is hitting the phones, pleading for patience with his most influential supporters. And even some of his confidants are suddenly dejected after a dispiriting week capped off by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley rejecting Bush in favor of Marco Rubio.

“What a kick in the balls,” said one of Bush’s closest supporters and one of the more than a dozen major Bush donors interviewed for this story.

The Bush team had been banking on a strong week, believing their candidate’s first solid debate performance last weekend would move the numbers in South Carolina. They thought bringing in George W. Bush on Monday night would generate more enthusiasm and positive earned media than it did. They held out hope that the former president could convince Haley, who’d hedged on backing Rubio after his slip in New Hampshire, to support a fellow governor.

But none of it panned out.

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