That leaves Bush with one straightforward path to the GOP nomination: an argument based on his durability and electability. As he explained to reporters on his foreign trip last week, he’ll remain “authentic” to the political persona he’s carved out over two decades in the public eye. Bush expects to win by emphasizing traits that seem almost quaint by modern campaign standards: maturity, substance and a record of governance — that and his conviction that he’s the party’s best shot of winning the general election…
Bush doesn’t have to win the Iowa caucuses, only avoid an embarrassing finish well outside the top three. The New Hampshire primary, the second contest on the 2016 calendar, offers Bush a better chance to actually win. While a victory there would be important symbolically, it’s not viewed as mission-critical: Given the resources available to him, he just has to do well enough in February — probably no worse than a second-place finish in New Hampshire — to be a viable option when the calendar page turns.
March 1 is when the Bush organization’s resources will truly reverberate as his treasury is likely to enable him to play in the many states — at least eight, perhaps more — all holding contests that day. With potentially more than 600 delegates up for grabs across the country, this is the date Bush’s team has circled on the calendar as the day that may help him gain separation from the rest of the field.
“You’ve got to have a real operation to target delegates in so many states, and in individual counties within those states,” David Kochel, who will oversee Bush’s early-state strategy, said last month. “That requires more than just a few people.”