From top dog to underdog, that’s what the staff reductions happening now in the Jeb Bush campaign look like. Jeb’s campaign will save over $1 million per month in payroll and turns its focus on doing more “retail” events in townhalls across America. But will it be enough to save his sparkless effort to become the third Bush as president?

1. Top dog to scrapping dog

2. Jeb Bush cuts back struggling campaign

Via bloomberg.com Jeb Bush, once a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, is slashing pay across the board for his struggling campaign as he attempts to regain traction just 100 days before the party’s first nominating contest.

The campaign is removing some senior staff from the payroll, parting ways with some consultants, and downsizing its Miami headquarters to save more than $1 million per month and cut payroll by 40 percent this week, according to Bush campaign officials who requested anonymity to speak about internal changes. Senior leadership positions remain unchanged.

Bush’s advisers, under pressure from their donors and from falling and stagnant poll numbers, have been discussing ways to retool the campaign in recent days, and came to the conclusion that a course correction was essential. While recent tangles with Donald Trump have energized the campaign, Bush’s senior team recognized a more fundamental set of changes was required that didn’t involve dealing directly with the party’s surprising—and surprisingly durable—front-runner.

Analysts and rival campaigns will view the changes as a desperate act, perhaps the last one, of a man whose campaign has dropped in the polls in recent months and has remained mired in the middle of a crowded field despite a month-long blitz of friendly television ads. None of the changes deal directly with what even many of Bush’s supporters say is his main challenge: The burden of trying to convince voters hungry for change to choose a man whose father and brother both served as president.

Bush, who aides said was actively involved in the decision to cut back, will spend less time raising money and more time engaged in retail political events, such as town halls, meet-and-greets, and one-on-one meetings, advisers said.

Symbolically, the changes turn Bush from an establishment battleship into a more scrappy underdog, making radical alterations in how the campaign operates in order to avoid the existential threat the campaign now faces. When his brother George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, he was the fundraising leader from start to finish and never had to contemplate such draconian cuts. Via bloomberg.com

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