NBC–Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, once considered the Republican Party’s most likely presidential nominee, is ending his campaign after a dismal showing in South Carolina’s primary.
“The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign,” he told backers in the Palmetto State.
Bush, who entered the race with great fanfare and trumpeted massive fundraising numbers early in his campaign, was ultimately weighed down by Republicans’ concerns about continuing the political dynasty of his father and brother.
His campaign had hoped that South Carolina, a state rich with veterans and traditional Republican voters, would give the former governor a much-needed boost after big losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. Both former president George W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush campaigned for Jeb Bush in the state.
But with about half the vote counted, Bush registered only in a distant fourth place.
The loss comes after an enormous investment of resources by Jeb Bush and his allies.
Together, they spent nearly $81 million in TV ads during the presidential election – with $76 million coming from the Right to Rise Super PAC – according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta.
That includes $36 million in New Hampshire, $15 million in Iowa, and $12.8 million in South Carolina.