First on CNN: Jeb Bush to open new offices in South Carolina

Jeb's October surprise?
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    Jeb's October surprise?


Jeb's October surprise? 00:37

Story highlights

  • Jeb Bush will open offices in Greenville and Charleston
  • "We have the resources we need to go deep into this primary process," said Bush strategic lead consultant for South Carolina Brett Doster

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN)Jeb Bush's operation in South Carolina is opening two new offices next week in a push to build ground support in the first-in-the-south primary state, a Bush South Carolina consultant told CNN.

The candidate's son, Jeb Jr., will cut the ribbon on the new office in Greenville on Monday and in Charleston on Tuesday. Bush himself will visit once per week in November, according to Bush strategic lead consultant for South Carolina Brett Doster.
Doster maintained the campaign is "taking nothing for granted. We are going to have the best ground game effort out of anybody in South Carolina. This is part of a bigger strategy. It's impossible for a presidential campaign to be successful long-term if they don't run a balanced campaign between air war versus ground game."
    "We have the resources we need to go deep into this primary process," Doster said. "Nobody is going to have a headquarters in Columbia and three field offices this early in the campaign."
    Campaigns across the state have been playing different versions of zone defense so far: Hillary Clinton, Trump and Bush have offices in Columbia, the state capital, with several staffers. Bernie Sanders' camp opted to plant their headquarters in Charleston, a much more liberal-leaning area than other places in the state. Clinton also has an office in Charleston.
    The announcement comes at a key moment for the candidate. Bush, whose brother found widespread support in South Carolina during his 2000 presidential bid, has been lagging in polls in the state. In a new CNN/ORC poll Wednesday, the GOP candidate ranks in fifth and garners the support of just 6% of likely primary voters. Perhaps a small beacon of hope for the Bush campaign in South Carolina: 60% of Republican voters are still undecided.
    Doster brushed off the bad polling numbers, saying that front-runner Trump is running an "earned media, very unbalanced campaign right now in South Carolina. For one thing, we just started our advertising in South Carolina."