From Open Secrets:
Led by veteran GOP operative Mike Murphy, Right to Rise was excoriated in the press for burning through $87 million in independent expenditures in support of Bush (and tens of millions more in operating expenses — $104 million total) without any discernible evidence that the super PAC moved the needle for the former Florida governor.
We can’t say what the super PAC did wrong, if anything. There are too many moving parts in a political race. A campaign is built around a candidate, and in debates and on the trail, the wonkish Bush never connected well with sufficient numbers of voters. He withdrew from the race in late February after months of low poll ratings. Maybe there was nothing Right to Rise could have done to save him.
What we can do, though, is perform a post-mortem on how Right to Rise spent tens of millions of dollars.
Bush’s super PAC was particularly important to his effort. Before he formally announced his candidacy, he drove donations to Right to Rise for months, something that wouldn’t be allowed once he made his White House bid official. Many deep-pocketed donors seemed happy to give to the group, which could accept unlimited sums from practically any source. What nobody predicted was that his campaign committee, which could accept only up to $2,700 from each donor for the primaries, would struggle mightily to fill its coffers. Near the end, Bush even complained…