Speed Reads

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Jeb Bush has only 1,260 confirmed supporters in Iowa

So this is a little bit awkward: Jeb Bush's team sent out a 45-page campaign memo to select members of the media, but U.S. News was able to obtain the full, uncensored 112-page report — which, it just so happens, contains some less-than-sunny details about how the former Florida governor's presidential campaign is actually going.

Here's the lowdown: The Iowa caucus, on February 1, is 93 days away. Bush's campaign has set the goal of receiving 18.45 percent of the vote — more than double the 8 percent he's polling now. About 128,800 Republican voters are expected to turn out, which means Bush needs about 24,000 votes. The catch: His campaign is only confident he has 1,260 voters in the Hawkeye State.

The estimate comes from over 70,000 phone calls made by a 10-person paid staff in Iowa; for all their calls, the team was only able to rope in four volunteers and root up a total of 1,260 Bush supporters statewide. That leaves a gap of 22,740 voters that the campaign needs to identify or persuade to its side by February. Making matters worse, an advertising blitz isn't waiting in the wings to rescue Bush's Iowa ground-game: Of the budget set aside for advertising, Bush's team only plans to spend $1.36 million in the weeks before voting begins, as opposed to $5.6 million set aside for New Hampshire or $2.7 million for South Carolina.

In plainer words, Bush's campaign hopes to somehow gather 22,000 supporters in less than 100 days with a relatively small ad campaign and little luck after over 70,000 phone calls to potential voters. But you know what they say: Hope springs eternal.