Jeb Bush de-emphasizes SEC Primary in campaign reboot

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this fall, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signaled he was taking the SEC Primary literally with tailgate visits to Athens and Knoxville. His Super PAC also reserved millions of dollars of early TV time in the key March 1 states, including Georgia.

But Bush canceled a scheduled trip to Tuscaloosa for Saturday's Alabama-LSU clash, as he tries to turn around a struggling campaign. Visits to New Hampshire last week and Iowa this week show where his emphasis lies.

There was no conflicting public event for Saturday, but we're sure Bush is heavily engaged in debate prep ahead of Tuesday's showdown on Fox Business Network -- given that previous debating struggles have hampered his campaign. From the Washington Post:

“The game was scheduled as a night game and made it hard to meet our other obligations in early states and elsewhere,” Allie Brandenburger, a spokesperson for Bush, told The Post in an email. “The campaign will have a presence at the game and Gov. Bush looks forward to being back in Alabama soon.”

But Bush also failed to field a full slate of delegates in Alabama, only placing supporters in 29 of the state's 47 delegate slots. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz filled out full slates of delegates for the March 1 primary by Friday's deadline.

Filling out a full delegate slate is a display of organizational strength, a test of finding supporters to meet requirements in each congressional district and at-large post. Falling short does not mean you cannot compete for all of the state's delegates, though, as Reed Phillips of the Alabama GOP told us via email:

"A candidate that wins enough of the vote to be allocated any delegates, will still receive the number of delegates that they won in the primary. If there are any vacancies in delegate slots then the delegates that did qualify will vote to fill those vacancies for that candidate. If a candidate didn’t have anyone qualify as a delegate for them but wins enough of the vote to have delegates, then the state executive committee will vote to fill those slots."

The full rundown of the Alabama delegate slates for all the candidates:

Carson - 76 delegates covering all 47 spots

Rubio - 76 delegates covering all 47 spots

Cruz - 66 delegates covering all 47 spots

Trump - 60 delegates covering all 47 spots

Paul - 45 delegates covering 45 spots

Bush - 32 delegates covering 29 spots

Kasich - 20 delegates covering 19 spots

Santorum - 19 delegates covering 19 spots

Fiorina - 16 delegates covering 16 spots

Huckabee - 8 delegates covering 7 spots

Christie - 0 delegates

Gilmore -- 0 delegates

Graham - 0 delegates

Jindal - 0 delegates

Pataki -- 0 delegates

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