Less than two hours after the polls had closed, Bush had called it quits.
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How Bush found himself out of the race after just the third nominating contest of 2016 is a cautionary tale of political miscalculation and strategic errors, according to interviews with a dozen Republican operatives, many with close ties to the Bush campaign and others who worked for the last two Republican presidential nominees, conducted during the last days of his campaign.The Bush campaign disputed the charge as inaccurate.Viewing Trump as a summer fad who would fade given his outrageous comments, the campaign was slow to respond to the billionaire when he first blasted Bush last August as "low energy".Trump has mentioned Bush on Twitter hundreds of times, far more than any other Republican candidate.When Bush launched his campaign in June, he was the clear front-runner among Republicans, polling at nearly 18 percent in a crowded field. Roughly six weeks later Trump had taken a commanding lead with 26 percent and Bush had dropped to around 12 percent, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. But Trump was hardly Bush's only obstacle.Some of Bush's foreign policy advisers were surprised that Bush did not have an answer prepared for the inevitable question.
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