Make no mistake: Jeb Bush’s decision to dramatically cut campaign payroll and refocus his efforts on New Hampshire is a significant setback for the onetime GOP presidential front-runner. The Bush campaign’s hope of running an optimistic, general-election-style primary campaign hit the reality that Republican voters are looking for a nominee who better reflects their anger at Washington and the political status quo.
With stagnant polling leading to donor anxiety, the current formula was unsustainable for the long haul. And unlike Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the Bush campaign rightly recognizes that the Republican field is so volatile that it pays to retool a struggling effort—and take the short-term hits that will come with it.
But for Bush to turn things around, he’ll need to recognize what has hampered his campaign in the first place. Here are the Bush campaign’s major problems: