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The Lid: Bleak Outlook for Bush As Campaign Cuts Costs

Jeb Bush Orders Across-the-Board Pay Cuts for Struggling 2016 Campaign 1:58

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Lincoln Chafee bowed out of the 2016 race on Friday after proving to be a block of granite too many kilometers wide to fit down the narrow path to the Democratic nomination.

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Drinks won’t be on Jeb Bush staffers this weekend after the news that the campaign will be cutting pay and restructuring staff. It’s the latest blow for the once top-tier GOP candidate, whose poll numbers have dropped significantly over recent months. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week put Bush in fifth place nationally, behind Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. And it’s no secret that among that list, the biggest problem for Bush is that home-state rival Rubio has overtaken him and is on the rise in Iowa.

But what could be more troubling for Bush is what our colleague Mark Murray noted today -- the big money Bush and the super PAC supporting him have spent on ads has not been helping him. Bush and allies have spent almost DOUBLE what the second highest spender in the 2016 race (Team Kasich) have on ads, according to ad-spending numbers from NBC News ad-tracking partner SMG Delta. And that raises the question: How much worse off would the former Florida governor be if he supporters had not already spent $10.7 million? And when you take a step back and compare where Bush is to Clinton’s good week, it becomes clear the hole Bush is in for the primary, let alone the general election.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Jeb Bush's presidential campaign will undergo an aggressive restructuring as staff and spending are reduced in across the board cuts, NBC’s Jordan Frasier writes.
  • NBC’s Mark Murray outlines how Bush’s big ad spending isn’t helping him.
  • Hillary Clinton joked about her “long day” after spending 11 hours testifying about Benghazi, NBC’s Monica Alba reports.
  • Lincoln Chafee became the second Democratic presidential candidate to drop out this week, msnbc’s Alex Seitz-Wald.
  • Paul Ryan told NBC News it’s "very exciting" to have the support of his GOP colleagues in Congress behind his bid for House speaker.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

CLINTON: A major union representing government workers has endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Times writes.

And her campaign said her fundraising soared after the Benghazi hearing.

TRUMP: Donald Trump tells super PACs supporting his candidacy to return all money to donors, the Washington Post reports.

CHAFEE: The Atlantic explores the question we’ve all been wondering: Why Did Lincoln Chafee Even Run?

FOR THE RECORD…

“We’re going to have to do something that’s pretty hard. Pretty, pretty, pretty hard, to quote Larry David.”

-- Bernie Sanders at the DNC Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton is on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight at 9pm.

On Saturday, Jeb Bush participates in a town hall with Sen. Tim Scott in South Carolina. Marco Rubio also campaign in South Carolina. Ben Carson signs books in Iowa, and Ted Cruz is also in the state. Clinton holds a rally with Katy Perry and Bill Clinton in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley attend the Iowa Democratic Jefferson Jackson Dinner.

Ben Carson will appear on Meet The Press on Sunday.