Here's what $35 million can buy you:
- 175 2016 Maybach S600s
- 350 RandPaul.coms
- 207,000 nights in a luxury suite at the Venetian, the site of Tuesday's CNN debate
- 466,000 Jeb Bush guacamole bowls
Those guacamole bowls sell for $75 a pop, which is a lot of money to spend on a guacamole bowl. Jeb Bush's campaign and the super PACs supporting him didn't buy 466,000 expensive guacamole bowls for their $35 million, though; they paid that much in radio and TV ads since September instead, according to NBC News and SMG Delta, with the net result that Bush dropped more than five points in the polls.
Bush and his backers spent far more than any other candidate and more than twice the campaign-spending runner-up, Marco Rubio. And Bush also saw the biggest drop in his national poll numbers. Among the top-tier candidates, there was almost an inverse relationship between money spent and change in poll numbers: Ted Cruz is up nine points since September, after spending $1.2 million, and Donald Trump is up six and a half points after barely spending anything.
The scene is not much different at the state level. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Bush and his backers have laid out $9 million and $17 million respectively, with Bush dropping 1.1 and two points.
The more that was spent, the more he dropped. This might be because he and his backers spent more as he started to slip more in the polls, of course; it's not like the ads necessarily hurt him.
Nonetheless, for donors to his campaign -- and for the folks that gave more than $100 million to his super PAC -- the realization that Bush might be doing just as poorly if they'd instead bought brand new Maybachs must be a bit galling.