With some donors doubting Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio seizes an opening

Rubio is working to seize the moment by making an all-out push to lock down financial backers in the coming month, hopscotching the country in a nonstop series of fundraisers that are limiting his presence on the campaign trail.

While he faces stiff competition in the money race from Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in particular, Rubio’s in-person courting sessions are starting to pay off. Longtime Bush loyalists and other big-money players on the right have emerged from the meetings raving about his abilities, according to people familiar with private gatherings he has had across the country…

Rubio is benefiting in part from a growing uncertainty among some top fundraisers about Bush’s ability to resonate with the party base, particularly in the wake of his stumbling answers last month about the Iraq war and his brother, the 43rd president. A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed that Bush, who led the GOP field for months, has slipped into a two-way tie for third place…

“One consensus seemed to be that, ‘Wow, Jeb is really raising lots of money, but he doesn’t seem to be striking a chord with voters,’ ” said one well-connected Republican who participated in the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations.