Jeb Bush lags in first real 2016 campaign test

As Jeb Bush tries to turn around his campaign for President, not only is the former Governor of Florida struggling in recent national polls, but his campaign is also trailing other Republicans in one of the first organizational tests of the 2016 race.

The battleground at this early date is in Alabama, where by Friday evening, each Republican campaign faces a deadline for its delegates to file a “Declaration of Candidacy” in order to get on the March 1 ballot.

47 delegates are in play in the Alabama Primary next March; 3 can be slated in each of seven Congressional districts in the Yellowhammer State, with 26 others who can run statewide on the Alabama ballot.

Alabama is different than most states, as the delegate names appear directly on the ballot, along with the name of the candidate.

What is interesting about the numbers in Alabama is that the campaigns that are doing the best right now in the national GOP polls are also the ones who are showing the best organizational capabilities on the ground.

Out of 47 total, here are the qualified delegate totals for each Republican, with time still left to add additional delegates on Friday (data provided by the Alabama GOP):

Donald Trump – 46
Ben Carson – 45
Marco Rubio – 43
Ted Cruz – 40

That first group of four also can be found – in almost that exact order – at the top of recent GOP polls – then, there is a big drop to other GOP contenders:

Rand Paul – 25
Jeb Bush – 19
Carly Fiorina – 14
John Kasich – 9
Rick Santorum – 6
Mike Huckabee – 6

Four other major Republicans had no delegates signed up as of Thursday, according to the Alabama GOP:

Chris Christie – 0
Lindsey Graham – 0
Bobby Jindal – 0
George Pataki – 0

Bush only added one qualified delegate on Thursday, as he slipped behind Rand Paul.

While Paul added eleven delegates on Thursday, he is still behind the pace set four years ago by his father, Ron Paul – who almost fully filled out his delegate slate for the 2012 Alabama Primary.

There is still one more day for the candidates to add to their totals, but just as in many of the polls for the GOP race, the organizational work of Republicans in Alabama seems to be centered on four main candidates – Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz.

John Kasich should have some type of organizational edge – he has been endorsed by Alabama’s Governor – but that has not brought about much backing for the Ohio Governor.

As for the rest of the Republican candidates, none seem likely to get anywhere close to a full slate of delegates for the Alabama Primary – and some may not even get on the ballot.

As of Thursday night, Christie, Paul and Santorum had not paid their filing fee. We’ll see if that changes during business hours on Friday.

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