Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush "hated" being the GOP front-runner earlier this year, he says, because of the expectations it set for him and his campaign.

“I hated that," he told John Dickerson on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "I feel much better back here.”

Bush entered the 2016 presidential contest as the presumptive Republican front-runner and the clear establishment favorite in no small part because of his ability to raise enormous sums of money. But his close ties to prominent GOP voices — once seen as a strength — has not helped him in an election year defined by “outsider” candidates who have been propelled by a strong anti-politician sentiment across the country.

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With less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, Bush is a far cry from being front-runner. He has fallen to fifth place (or lower) among Republican voters, according to the Real Clear Politics national polling average.

“Being the front-runner made me feel like that people are going to begin to say, well, the guy is just dancing right through this. I have to go earn it,” he said. “I have higher expectations on me than people have of me. So, it doesn't bother me a bit that the expectations are high.”

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