After receiving only 7.8% of the vote in the South Carolina primary, Jeb Bush announced that he was suspending his campaign for President. It ends several days of wild speculation that his campaign was at an end. The Resurgent reported earlier in the week that a conference call had announced that payroll for staff was ending today. The report was picked up by Politico with the addition that staff members were circulating resumes. In an interview with Megyn Kelly Friday night on Fox News, Jeb dismissed the report but did not deny it.
Jeb was the original favorites among Republicans and many expected a Clinton-Bush rematch in the November election. Jeb was the favorite target of Donald Trump and Jeb was one of the few Republican candidates to attack back.
In his farewell speech, he thanked family and staff who had stuck with him and congratulated the remaining candidates “on the island.” (no doubt a reality TV smack). He made no reference to any endorsements, but simply spoke going home to sleep with his best friend and in a touching moment kissed his wife Columba.
At Marco Rubio’s headquarters in Colombia, Governor Nikki Haley congratulated the governor on his campaign. Likewise, Marco Rubio referred to Governor Bush as “the greatest Governor Florida has ever had” and hoped that his career of public service would continue.
Donald Trump managed to translate his lead in the polls to voting booths. He secured a double digit winning margin at 34% compared to 22% for both Rubio and Cruz. Rubio came in ahead of Cruz for second. No other contenders were in double digits. Bush 7.8%, Kasich 7.6% and Carson 7.2%.
In terms of delegates, Trump will receive the lion’s share as South Carolina awards delegates by winner take all by congressional district. Trump won in all counties except 2 – Richland (Colombia) and Charleston which were both won by Rubio. It remains to be seen how those delegates will be counted. However, Cruz will not receive any delegates.
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All eyes now focus on South Carolina among Republicans. Will Donald Trump continue what he did in New Hampshire? Will Ted Cruz gather evangelicals as he did in Iowa? Can Marco Rubio bounce back? Does John Kasich or Jeb Bush have life outside of New Hampshire? Those are the questions that will be answered this week – at least in part. Rubio had the strong debate performance he needed. Trump had the meltdown that everyone else needed him to have. Will the ground games of Cruz and Rubio overcome the name recognition of Trump?
As a fairness disclaimer, most know that I have already endorsed Marco Rubio. In fact, I’m in South Carolina volunteering to assist the Rubio campaign in any way that I can.
I will be keep a daily video blog regarding my time here. Feel free to follow along.