Saturday, October 24, 2015

Jeb Bush reduces campaign payrolls and travel, Miami HQ officials taking jobs elsewhere for lower pay, has only $10.3 million left-BBC

10/23/15, "Is Jeb Bush's once dominant campaign in jeopardy?"

"Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's campaign has announced it is cutting salaries for its staff and reducing spending on travel, a sign that his White House bid may be faltering.

Campaign officials were informed on Friday that the Bush payroll is being reduced by 40%, with nearly all of its staff accepting pay cuts.

Headquarters in Miami will also be cutting costs, with officials taking jobs elsewhere for lower pay.

The campaign defended the decision and said the shifts would help Mr Bush in New Hampshire, Iowa and other states with early voting.

Mr Bush, who has been banking on his last name and his standing as an establishment Republican, is struggling to keep up in a crowded field that is being led in polls by anti-establishment names like businessman Donald Trump and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. 

In the third quarter of this year, Mr Bush raised $13.4 million (£8.7 million), a much lower amount than the early days of his campaign. He has about $10.3 million left
So what does the announcement mean for Mr Bush's campaign?

'One of several bad Bush signs'

It's never a good sign when a presidential campaign has to start cutting staff and budget, said Dr Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University.

That is especially true for a candidate like Mr Bush, who wanted to raise enough money initially to "frighten other candidates out of the race," he said.

"That obviously didn't happen," he said. "The fact that he's been doing so poorly in national polls and early [voting] states is a pretty bad sign."

So the correct move is to re-focus efforts on states like New Hampshire, because if he loses there, the campaign is in trouble, Mr Abramowitz said.

But despite that strategy, cutting costs does not look good.

"You're seeing donors, establishment and business Republicans, very worried about his performance and starting to go elsewhere," he said. "It's definitely a bad sign for of several bad Bush signs."

Normally, a leading candidate would raise visibility, improve fundraising and increase the size of staff as the nominating campaign goes on - not cut staff early on, said Paul Herrnson, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut.

"Cutting staff at this point in the game is not a positive," Mr Herrnson said. "When a campaign shrinks, it has to take action, which happens regardless of what other candidates are doing."

Some Republican donors, seeing that the polls are being dominated by Mr Trump and Mr Carson, may give more money now, anticipating those frontrunners both may lose popularity over time.

Others may be more wary after hearing the staff-cutting news.

"Some may see the campaign as stalled and decided to step back and wait and see what happens," Mr Herrnson said.

In the background are super PACS, which raise millions but cannot directly contribute to the campaign.

Right to Rise USA, a super PAC supporting Mr Bush, ran about 1,800 television ads this week, while the official Jeb Bush campaign ran zero.

Some have said the cost-cutting news should not be over-interpreted and it is not necessarily a bad sign.

Mr Bush's camp has realised that the strategic playing field has changed, and is changing its ways to follow suit, said David Rehr, a professor at the George Washington University School of Political Management.

"It was prudent to adjust spending to the reality of the landscape, and to have a business-like approach to management of cash flow," Mr Rehr said."...


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