Team Jeb is feeling great about where they stand in the race going forward after last night’s surprisingly strong finish. If you talk to anyone on Team Jeb, or any backer of Team Jeb, they will tell you that New Hampshire put them back in the race. “Here comes Jebmentum,” they will say.
What, exactly, did Jeb Bush accomplish in the tiny state of New Hampshire, and at what cost? Well, according to ad buy data, Bush and Bush Super PACs spent $36.1M just in television ads in New Hampshire alone. It looks like when all the votes are finally counted that he will get almost exactly 30,000 votes. In other words, Bush spent about $1200 per vote that he got just on television ads. And he still finished behind Ted Cruz, who spent almost nothing in New Hampshire, and was facing probably the most hostile territory he will face throughout the course of this race.
Here’s a handy chart, via HuffPost, of exactly what Jeb! accomplished last night:
The best thing you could say about Jeb’s finish, objectively, is that it was not as embarrassingly bad as people expected it to be. But it was, no mistake, still bad. In the upcoming states, even Bush’s cash reserve will not allow him to blanket any state as thoroughly as he did New Hampshire.
Jeb still has no shot of winning, but he now has a plausible pitch for his apparently bottomless well of donors, which means he may well stick around until Super Tuesday, helping Trump split the field in the process.